Welcome to FOX
USE-iT - users, safety, security and energy in transport infrastructure
FOX - Forever Open infrastructure across all transport modes

Welcome to FOX

Forever Open infrastructure across (X) all transport modes


An efficient and high-quality transport infrastructure is a fundamental requirement for the connectivity of people and goods in Europe and basis for economic growth, competitiveness and territorial cohesion. In general, the transport network in Europe is of a high standard but is still fragmented regarding the geographical distribution and the transport modes. In recent years, first networking activities and exchange of strategic programmes among the stakeholders of the four transport modes – road, rail, water and air – can be noticed but still a mono-modal, monodisciplinary culture exists.

In the light of the future challenges, e.g. increasing transport demand, ageing infrastructure, scarcity of natural resources, changing climatic conditions, it is inevitable to strengthen the collaboration of the single transport modes in order to create an improved future integrated and functioning transport system for Europe, despite of limited financial resources of the owners of the transport network. The FOX project aims to develop a highly efficient and effective cross-modal R&D environment and culture which meets the demanding requirements of transport and connectivity. Based on already existing programmes and agendas related to the aspects of co-modal transport research, the FOX project will identify common needs and innovative techniques in the areas of construction, maintenance, inspection, and recycling & reuse of transport infrastructure. This will be reached by the involvement of all stakeholders (owners, researchers, and industry) of the four transport modes in a phased approach: starting with the determination of the state-of-the-art in research and practice, in the next step the most promising practices and ideas will be identified. By mapping the common needs, the final aim is to establish a cross-modal Working Group to develop a roadmap for the whole transport sector and set the agenda for further improvement of cross-modal research development innovation. FOX is a 30-month project under the Horizon 2020 topic of MG-81b-2014 – Smarter design, construction and maintenance.

The FOX project aims to practically implement the aspects of this step relevant to the construction maintenance, inspection and recycle & reuse activities of the transport network. Thus, it is necessary to identify the potential and develop the functionality of all transport modes to form a holistic transport system for the future. FOX will ensure the continuity and reinforcement of networking among stakeholders in the road, rail, water and air sectors by defining a cross modal approach in the area of construction, inspection, maintenance and recycle & reuse of transport infrastructure. This will be reached by the identification of common needs and innovative techniques, as well as the establishment of mechanisms for the necessary cooperation between the modes in the future.

The expected results are:

  • A network of researchers and practitioners from all transport modes for the following infrastructure lifecycle topics: construction, maintenance, inspection and recycle & reuse.
  • The stimulation of the sharing of knowledge and innovation between experts from different transport modes.
  • The acceleration into practice of the implementation of new construction and maintenance methods, together with smart inspection methods.
  • The agenda for the further improvement of multi-modal research, development, innovation and implementation.
  • For the most promising technologies, materials and inspection methods, the implementation plan will be performed for quick implementation into practice.
  • A cross-modal roadmap giving guidelines for more efficient collaboration and cooperation among operators in the various transport modes.
  • A FOX ‘Working Group’ with sub groups that is committed to the development of a cross-modal roadmap of the transport sector and will continue to develop and implement “cross modal R&D” leading to efficiency and innovation after the completion of the FOX project.
  • The establishment of a cross-modal field of research and practice.
    To induce added value for the money spend in future co-modal R&D and implementation.

Ongoing projects related to multimodality are already been developed within FORX4 and its sister programme Forever Open Road, a FEHRL’s flagship initiative.