European Liaison Office of the German Research Organisations



The Societal Challenge "Transport" concerns the areas of air, road, rail and maritime and inland water transport and its results are expected to contribute significantly to the political objectives of the European Union.

The desing of this programme is mainly based on the political framework of the White Paper "Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system". The aim of this White Paper is the improvement of mobility and the removal of obstacles in key areas, thereby contributing to more growth and employment. At the same time Europe's dependency on the import of oil is to be reduced drastically and transport carbon emissions are to be reduced by 60% until 2050. Another important goal is the significant reduction of fatal traffic accidents in Europe (Vision Zero).

Research and innovation funded under Horizon 2020 is expected to contribute to the achievement of the following important 2050 goals:

  • complete phase-out of "conventionally-fuelled" cars in urban transport
  • low-carbon sustainable fuels in aviation to reach 40%
  • reduction of EU CO2 emissions from maritime bunker fuels by 40%
  • shift of 50% of road freight on medium distances to other modes such as rail or waterborne transport


  • reduction of overall transport emissions by 60%.

The individual objectives of the different areas are defined by a multitude of transport-related strategic and political documents, e.g. concerning the European Rail Traffic Management System, the creation of an European Maritime Transport Space EMTS or the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs). All these policies and strategies can be found on the website of the Directorate-General Mobility and Transport.