The European Commission approves €20 million spanish scheme for the deployment of intelligent transportation systems
On January 19, the European Commission approved a new €20 million Spanish aid scheme for the deployment of intelligent transportation systems in Spain’s road and tunnel network.
This aid scheme has been notified and approved under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), cornerstone of the Next Generation EU funds triggered by the COVID-19 health crisis, which seek to lay the foundations for a more sustainable Europe. In particular, the RRF is structured around four cross-cutting pillars fully in line with EU strategic objectives, the 2030 Agenda, and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: (i) ecological transition, (ii) gender equality, (iii) digital transformation, and (iv) social and territorial cohesion. In turn, 10 lever policies and 30 components aim at a recovery that boosts business and job creation.
With a budget of €20 million entirely funded by the RRF, the aid scheme will focus on improving the efficiency and sustainability of the transport system through structural and legislative reforms.
The scheme has two main objectives: (i) improving traffic safety, efficiency, interoperability, energy efficiency and innovation in highways and tunnels managed under concession regime; and (ii) improving safety in road operation and maintenance. It also seeks to contribute to a more sustainable and digital road traffic model, while limiting potential competition distortions.
The scheme will run until December 31, 2024, and the support will take the form of direct grants awarded through a competitive selection procedure to concessionaires and operation and maintenance (O&M) companies active in the national road network.
The support will be specifically aimed at promoting, among others, automatic incident detection systems, systems for monitoring atmospheric conditions on roads, intelligent lighting control systems, cooperative systems to make the national transport network more interoperable, and systems to enable remote and automatic operation in maintenance works through drones and digitalized machinery.
The Commission considers that the aid scheme will facilitate the digitalization of certain economic services linked to road infrastructure while simultaneously bridging the digital gap. The aid is considered necessary and proportionate for investors to carry out digitalization projects. In this regard, and to ensure an efficient allocation of resources, the concessionaires and O&M companies applying for support must submit a cost-benefit analysis attesting to their funding gap. Also, the maximum amount of support for a project will be based on reasonable cost estimates.
The text of the European Commission decision is not yet available. The official press release can be found here.