The EPN Consulting Newsletter - 067 - March 2016
Dear Colleague,

In these days there are a lot of conferences, workshops, articles talking about clean transport, electric vehicles, sustainable transport modes, driverless vehicles.
Transport cannot be only clean but also fast  and that's why new high-speed trains have been built as well as new aircrafts have been designed to offer faster journeys that are also cleaner and less noisy.

What is not discussed enough - or at all - is the growth of an old travelling style: by coach.

In Europe there are tens of Bus & Coach operators connecting distant cities in a country and some of them linking cities among several countries.
Eurolines includes Transdev, Deutsche Touring and the British National Express. Their network covers 600+ destinations in 36 European countries.
Eurolines is now part of the Baltour Group that includes also Baltour and Sena operators.
Megabus, very popular in the UK for offering national journeys at 1 (€1.28), in 2015 added Italy to its network and operates a local long-distance service (i.e. covering Turin-Rome in 11 hours).
Flixbus, a German operator, offers low-cost bus travels in Europe from €5 (3.90), etc,

This re-launch of travelling by coach has been possible by making cheap international connections between cities centres available. This offer is different from flights that, although low cost, land in airports that are far away from city centres (some of them even farther).
It is also different from High-Speed Trains that are great within countries (for those that have this kind of infrastructure) but there are not yet many direct international connections, therefore some changes between cities stations or between HS trains services are required making a high-speed-train journey longer than it should be and, apart from some specific discounts, pretty expensive too.

Therefore, travelling by coach is being living a 2nd life. These vehicles are much more comfortable than in the past being now equipped with ergonomic seats, toilets, wi-fi internet and coffee machines.
Usually coach tickets are sold at very good prices, provided one is prepared to travel between 10 to 20 hours to cover 500-1,000 kms or more. Interesting, isn't it?

EPN Consulting Ltd.
Founder, CEO

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Horizon 2020 & other calls close to deadline

30 Mar 2016 - Deadline to submit proposals to the H2020-INFRAINNOV-02-2016 call (Support to Technological Infrastructures)
30 Mar 2016 - Deadline to submit proposals to the H2020-INFRAIA-01-2016 call (Integrating Activities for Advanced Communities)
30 Mar 2016 - Deadline to submit proposals to the H2020-INFRAIA-02-2017 call (Integrating Activities for Starting Communities - 1st Stage; 2nd Stage on 29 Mar 2017)
30 Mar 2016 - Deadline to submit proposals to the H2020-INFRASUPP-2016 calls (Support to Policy and International Cooperation)
30 Mar 2016 - Deadline to submit proposals to the H2020-INFRADEV-03-2016 call (Individual Support to ESFRI and other World-class Research Infrastructures)

05 Apr 2016 - Deadline to submit proposals to the H2020-SCC-1-2016 call (Smart Cities and Communities Lighthouse Projects)
05 Apr 2016 - Deadline to submit proposals to the H2020-LCE-01-2016 call (Next-Generation Innovative Technologies enabling Smart Grids, Storage and Energy System Integration with increasing share of Renewables: Distribution Network)
05 Apr 2016 - Deadline to submit proposals to the H2020-LCE-02-2016 call (Demonstration of Smart Grid, Storage and System Integration with increasing share of Renewables: Distribution System)
05 Apr 2016 - Deadline to submit proposals to the H2020-LCE-03-2016 call (Support to R&I Strategy for Smart Grid and Storage)
05 Apr 2016 - Deadline to submit proposals to the H2020-LCE-26-2016 call (Cross-thematic ERA-NET on Applied GeoSciences)
05 Apr 2016 - Deadline to submit proposals to the H2020-LCE-32-2016 call (European Platform for Energy-related Social Sciences and Humanities Research)
05 Apr 2016 - Deadline to submit proposals to the H2020-LCE-33-2016 call (European Common Research and Innovation Agenda (ECRIAs) in support of the Implementation of the SET Action Plan)
05 Apr 2016 - Deadline to submit proposals to the H2020-LCE-34-2016 call (Joint Actions towards the Demonstration and Validation of Innovative Energy Solutions)
05 Apr 2016 - Deadline to submit proposals to the COS-EYE-FPA-2016-4-01 call (COSME Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs)

Europe's 10 fastest growing Economies 

18 Feb 2016 - Ireland backs up last year's record growth of 6.9% with the strongest growth forecast this year too.

The Commission's report predicts GDP growth of 4.5% in 2016. Romania also returns strong figures, with growth expected to be 4.2% this year - up from 3.6% last year. A number of countries see predicted growth of between 3% and 4%, including Malta, Luxembourg and Poland.

The overall picture that emerges is an encouraging one, with positive growth predicted in the majority of the EU.
Only Greece is forecast to see its economy shrink, although the outlook in Finland is for growth of just half a percent.
What are the economic consequences of Brexit?

22 Feb 2016 - In a poll of more than 100 economists for the Financial Times at the start of 2016, more than 75% thought Brexit (Britain exit) would adversely affect the UK's medium-term economic prospects, nine times more than the 8% who thought Britain's economy would benefit.

Many in the Leave campaign counter that economists tend to favour Britain remaining as an EU member because they are naturally in favour of deeper trading relationships with other countries.
Various scenarios are discussed.

Read more
European Semester 2016:
Country-specific recommendations

26 Feb 2016 - The 2016 European Semester kicked off in November 2015 with the Annual Growth Survey, which confirmed the Commission's jobs and growth strategy based on three pillars: 1) Re-launching Investment, 2) Pursuing Structural Reforms to modernise our economies and 3) Responsible Fiscal Policies.

In order to better integrate the Euro area and national dimensions of the EU economic governance, the 2016 Annual Growth Survey was accompanied by a set of recommendations for the Euro area (pdf).
In February 2016, the Commission published a series of Country Reports for each Member State, analysing Member States' economic and social policies.

Read more
It's true: the typical Car is parked 95% of the time

10 Mar 2016 - Cars are a very inefficient transportation technology for too many reasons to count. They take up huge amounts of space but get driven around mostly empty.

A lot of the time, people drive distances that are short enough to easily walk or bike - 28% of car trips are a mile or less, according to the U.S. Governors Highway Safety Association.

There are different methods of calculation and in different countries:
- Option No.1: based on the number of cars, the number of car trips and the average time duration of car trips
- Option No.2: based on time drivers spend driving (from transportation surveys) and assuming one car per driver.
- Option No.3: Using car kilometres per car and overall average speeds

Read more
The Chinese city of Shenzhen plans to track all cars electronically

10 Mar 2016 - The Southern city of Shenzhen became the first in China to issue electronic IDs to 200,000 vehicles as part of a pilot project that could eventually allow the real-time tracking of all cars, the state-owned company providing the technology said.

If successful, the project will be expanded to all private cars in the city. The government has in the past trialled projects in Shenzhen before rolling them out across the country.
The project could pave the way for autonomous driving, which requires vehicles to communicate with each other and traffic infrastructure in real-time, but also raises concerns over invasive government measures amid efforts to register every Internet user's real name.

Read more
TEV project's Electric Road solves cars' lack of range 

11 Mar 2016 - In the race to build driverless cars, it might pay to keep your eyes on the road.

A father-daughter team founded the Scotland-based Tracked Electric Vehicle (TEV) project where battery-powered cars recharge while they drive from a metal strip embedded in highways. The system is designed to combat range anxiety from consumers who worry an electric car will lose its spark before finding a place to plug in.

The electrified metal strip embedded into the middle of the road provides a constant source of power to the vehicle. Just like streetcars and subway trains do in today's cities, cars on a TEV highway could charge as they drive.

Read more
Upcoming Professional Events in Europe

22-23 Mar 2016 - London (UK) - ICT+TRA - ERTMS and ETCS 2016 - The Future of Railway Signalling in the UK

05 Apr 2016 - London (UK) - TRA - 
05-07 Apr 2016 - Turin (IT) - TRA - EXPO FERROVIARIA 2016
05-08 Apr 2016 - Amsterdam (NL) - ITS+TRA - INTERTRAFFIC AMSTERDAM 2016

Go to the Events Section
The Website of the Month:
Green Digital Charter 

The Green Digital Charter aims to improve the quality of life in cities through the use of digital solutions. It was first launched in 2009 by EUROCITIES, drawing on preparatory work by the city of Manchester and Clicks and Links Ltd.

A large number of European cities - home to over 26 million people - have already committed to work together towards the aims and objectives of the Green Digital Charter. The charter is also supported by the European Commission. The EU 20/20/20 energy and climate targets provided the backdrop to the creation of the Green Digital Charter.
Today the initiative is recognised by public, private and European stakeholders as a reference and benchmark of excellence for innovative local action in the field of ICT for energy efficiency, and makes a strong case for quick, coordinated, and sustainable progress.
The EPN Consulting Galaxy

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Based in London. Engaged with Europe.