R&I Mobility Strategy



Policy areas

Organisation name Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK)

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Contact person: DI (FH), MBA Sarah Bittner-Krautsack, Head of department

The Austrian Federal Government has set the ambitious goal of achieving climate neutrality in Austria by 2040, and becoming a European pioneer in climate protection. The area which Austria decided to focus on to pursue its objective is mobility. Over the past three decades, thanks to its longstanding tradition of mission-oriented research, technology and innovation promotion in the field of mobility, Austria has built up a wide network of actors and a broad research base for the transformation of the mobility sector. The new R&I Mobility Strategy aims to set the course for future research and innovation policy measures in the mobility sector, supporting Austria’s successful positioning in mobility-relevant areas of the future EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon Europe.

The ambitious objective pursued by BMK, outlined in the 2030 Mobility Master Plan, intends to endorse the paradigm ‘Avoid–Shift–Improve’. The project, R&I Mobility Strategy, drafted under the direction of BMK, wants to ride the wave of the current reduction of energy and mobility consumption imposed by the pandemic. The aim is to identify ways to avoid traffic and shift it towards public transport and active mobility. This would trace a path to climate neutrality in 2040 for the mobility sector, by increasing energy efficiency and replacing fossil fuels with RES. The R&I Mobility Strategy project represents the first strategic document of broad extent, derived from the cooperation of all stakeholders and addressing the necessary transformation of the mobility system in all its dimensions. The intention is to transform to innovation ecosystems and collaborative networks by linking policymaking with administration, science, business and civil society.

The project approach has a clear structure with four mission areas, two of which are defined geographically: cities, promoting climate-neutral urban mobility and regions, mobilising and sustainably connecting rural areas, focused on the spatial dimension with its social and economic relationships driving the need and demand for mobility. On the other side, the other two are technology based: digitisation, efficient and climate-friendly operation of infrastructure, and logistics services and technology, developing environmentally friendly transport technologies. These address the potential offered by digitisation and other technological developments in achieving a climate-neutral mobility system. BMK also defined four R&I measures within the strategy framework, which will ensure that the four mission areas to be implemented will consider gender and diversity aspects in all processes. This will address the urgent need to define more stimulating frameworks for the use of female potential in mobility. The measures are R&I funding, experimental rooms, alliances and European/international positioning.

The R&I strategy mobility and its concretisation for the next five years in the R&I Agenda Mobility 2026 in terms of objectives, goals, indicators, R&I topics and R&I measures will be the basis for all national R&I activities in mobility on all levels from 2022 on. Projects funded from 2022 onwards will have to contribute to sustainability and climate neutrality by directing their effort towards the sub-objectives of the strategy.

Apart from that, it will also be the basis of the Austrian position in the Cluster 5 work programmes, but also mobility-relevant partnerships and missions within the new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon Europe, where Austria would like to see a strong focus and emphasis on achieving the climate targets. Besides, strategic alliances and implementation partnerships will ensure the necessary cross-thematic and cross-sectoral collaboration to achieve the implementation of a climate-neutral mobility system by 2040.

The R&I Mobility Strategy is sustainable on multiple levels. First, mobility policy and R&I policy relating to mobility both address the objective of attaining climate neutrality by 2040, hence sustainability in an environmental sense. Second, BMK has combined the competencies for mobility, innovation and technology with those for climate protection, the environment and energy in 2020. As a result, the RTI Strategy Mobility will provide the missing link between general RTI policy and mobility policy in the area of mobility. Third, the strategy is setting the course for future research and innovation policy measures in the mobility sector and is supporting Austria’s positioning in mobility-relevant areas of the future EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon Europe. Austria’ s mobility sector is ideally positioned to profit from the new generation R&I programmes as the Austrian mobility industry is an innovative key industry with high value-added employment and export activity.

Finally, the fourth sustainable aspect of the R&I Mobility Strategy rests on the long-term oriented financing prospects and long-term commitment already ensured to sustain the R&I efforts in the mobility sector. But it also rests on growing partnerships between funding and implementation agencies, regional authorities and other actors to effectively coordinate the activities. Moreover, monitoring, dissemination and learning processes are put into place to sustain a high degree of effectiveness over a time horizon of more than 20 years and ensure ongoing development of the R&I strategy.

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