News - FEHRL launches SERRP V at the International Transport Forum.

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Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories

FEHRL launches SERRP V at the International Transport Forum.

Today at the International Transport Forum (ITF), FEHRL launched its fifth Strategic European Road Research Programme (SERPP V) for 2011-2016, which tackles the research and innovation challenges facing the road and transport system now and in the future. 


Joris Al, FEHRL President and Steve Phillips, FEHRL Secretary-General, gave a press briefing during the first break of the ITF event to journalists giving the information below.

This SERRP V programme details the technical issues as well as the programming and instruments for delivery.  SERRP V considers implementation, international cooperation and multi-modality.  A core element is Forever Open Road, a revolutionary concept to produce the fifth generation road.

Research and innovation challenges
In these times of austerity, many road authorities across Europe and indeed globally are facing ever tougher challenges to cope with the needs to accommodate increased traffic growth, minimise congestion and maintain services in the face of increasing climate change effects, as well as deliver on environmental and societal objectives.  This is the time when innovation for road infrastructure is absolutely essential.  We cannot continue to allow our road networks to degrade to the level that they become a limiting factor to the continent’s growth.  SERRP V sets out the core challenges and the solutions, addressing the needs from the perspective of national and European stakeholders. 

Technical issues addressed with Forever Open Road
SERRP V reflects the technical and policy needs for road infrastructure to become a key asset to a competitive Europe and puts forward methods of delivering the needed research and innovation.  With four phases of SERRP complete, the fifth features at its core the Forever Open Road programme which provides a truly inspiring vision for how roads will be built, operated and maintained. 

Forever Open Road will enable the next generation of roads that is capable of meeting demands on the reliability, availability, maintainability, safety, environment, health and cost of road operations.  The Forever Open Road is adaptable, automated and climate change resilient; based upon a concept for building and maintaining roads that can be applied whether motorway, rural or urban, and regardless of region or country.  The programme will result in a portfolio of innovative solutions that are proven in practice and that are ‘ready to implement’.

So far, Forever Open Road has been developed into a concrete plan featuring roadmaps and detailed implementation milestones that will be achieved through a combination of:
• current best practice in construction and technology (to be disseminated by 2013),
• transfer of technologies and methods from other sectors (to be enabled by 2016),
• use of early stage and emerging techniques and products (to be enabled by 2020), and
• new research into technologies and products (to be enabled by 2025).

Programming and instruments for delivery
In the past, many well-established instruments have been used to carry forward research.  In the future, the scale of effort that will be required will increase considerably.  For this reason, new approaches will need to be developed.  These will include the further development of FEHRL’s role in a programming capacity as well as a larger role in the Public-Private partnerships (PPP) established between the European Technology Platforms and the European Commission.

Implementation, international cooperation and multi-modality
In addition to Forever Open Road, SERRP V details greater research cooperation between experts in all transport sectors and gives greater attention to a broader range of infrastructure topics in both transport and other sectors.  Considerable emphasis will also be placed on knowledge transfer and the implementation of innovation by field testing the proposed solutions in every practice of road operations, in close cooperation and collaboration with our stakeholders.

For more information on SERRP V, download SERRP V below or contact Catherine Birkner at



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