In Europe, the Group has been playing an active role for a number of years in the European Commission’s Framework Programmes, which set priorities for research and funding. As a result, individual Group sectors and the Centro Ricerche Fiat (CRF) have always been actively involved in the most important research projects and round table discussions. Since 1980, the CRF in particular has taken part as a coordinator or partner in pre-competitive research projects developed with other players from the worlds of industry, research, academia and government. During 2011, the CRF obtained approval for 19 European projects, bringing the total number approved since the commencement of the Seventh Framework Programme (2007-2013) to 133.
The CRF continued to take part in a number of research projects promoted by the European Commission, involving other key public and private-sector players with the aim of steering research on topics of European-wide public interest towards applications in industry. One example is given by the European Technology Platforms: ERTRAC, for road transport; EPoSS for smart systems integration; EuMaT for advanced engineering materials and technologies; and MANUFUTURE for production processes. Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), such as the Green Cars Initiative and Factories of the Future, are other examples. In 2011, the EMC2-Factory research project, coordinated by the CRF, was launched under the Factories of the Future PPP. It aims to improve manufacturing processes in terms of economic and environmental sustainability, by developing new process technologies, design and planning methods.
Through the CRF, the Group is also an active member of leading research and development organizations at the European level, such as EUCAR, the European Council for Automotive R&D, focused on the areas of fuels and powertrain, integrated safety, telematics, transport of goods and people, materials and manufacturing, and ERTICO-ITS Europe, a network of European and international partners for the development and deployment of intelligent transport systems and services. In the specific field of road transport telematics, the CRF is involved in the iMobility Forum’s working groups.