Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories

The FEHRL research, development and innovation strategy is part of the overall FEHRL strategy and include the SERRP document from which is derived the FEHRL position paper.

FEHRL Strategic European Road and cross-modal Research and Implementation Plan 2025 - 2027 (SERRP VIII)

The SERRP document intends to consider global challenges faced by society and FEHRL members’ national interests, striking a balance between addressing the challenges facing society and developing practical solutions. This means considering both ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approaches for all different topics concerning the transport sector. It is composed of a main document and several annexes. Click here to read the SERRP

FEHRL has three Research Priorities, which will each contain several research themes, which in turn will have specific research topics.

The Built Environment research priority will cover the broad themes of physical and digital infrastructure. Click here to read the document

The Natural Environment research priority considers how the adverse environmental impacts of road construction and operation can be mitigated, and positive environmental outcomes achieved. Themes such as reducing air and noise pollution and enhancing biodiversity are included. Click here to read the document

The Social Environment research priority focuses on how people interact with the transport system in an equitable, safe and secure way. Research themes covering road users’ and road workers’ safety and infrastructure that promotes health are proposed. Click here to read the document

FEHRL Position Paper – Horizon Europe Work program 2025 -2027

In the last decade, the research focus on a European and national level has concentrated on ‘digital’ aspects of highway infrastructure, such as machine learning, digital twins, big data, connected and autonomous vehicles and electrification. This has been geared towards inspection and maintenance and to support automation and electrification. This focus on digitalisation has blurred the boundaries between digital and physical infrastructure, as they become increasingly interconnected. Whilst the R&D in these areas has undoubtedly been beneficial, FEHRL and its members contend that WP 2025 – 2027 should focus on how Europe’s transport infrastructure can be maintained, protected and improved. Here, the research on digitalisation in areas such as embedded sensors, I2V and V2I communication will be essential tools to complement asset management to prioritise maintenance budgets and research on new materials to upgrade infrastructure and meet the challenges of net zero. Without interventions, physical infrastructure will buckle under the strain of the pressures it faces, rendering digital solutions redundant. FEHRL argues that R&D on the physical infrastructure should be a priority for the WP 2025 – 2027, especially in 2025 and 2026, with digital aspects covered in 2027.

FEHRL recommend the following 13 topics:

1. Road Infrastructure Response to Electrification and CAVs

2. Asset Life Extension

3. Decarbonisation and Climate Neutral Operations

4. New materials, circular materials and models to monitor service life

5. Green Infrastructure and mitigation and adaptation to climate change

6. Mobility network infrastructure

7. Infrastructure adaptation to urban logistics

8. Mainstreaming Biodiversity

9. Air Quality

10. Low Road Noise

11. Asset Management

12. Road Safety

13. Transport Equity