CHARM Pre-Commercial Procurement project (PCP)

The CHARM Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) Project intends to stimulate innovations to improve Traffic Management Centres (TMCs) promoting safe, fast and reliable road mobility.

The CHARM PCP Project is the development branch of the CHARM Programme. This Programme was initiated by a consortium of the national road operators from England (Highways England) and the Netherlands (Rijkswaterstaat - RWS). These road operators have formally joined forces since April 2011 to improve their TMCs (i.e. significantly improve their effectiveness while decreasing operational costs). The Flanders Department of Mobility and Public Works (Mobiliteit en Openbare Werken - MOW) is a preferred partner of the consortium. 

For the PCP Project, the consortium is extended with the UK-based Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) for their expertise in procurement and innovation projects.

The PCP project consists of 3 phases: 

  • Phase 1: Challenge solution design 
  • Phase 2: Prototype 
  • Phase 3: Pre-production testing 

As the project would like to share their knowledge, you can download the tender documents of phase 1 (ZIP, 1,36 MB) and the tender documents of phase 2 (ZIP, 1,29 MB). Phase 2 is currently being executed and is expected to be finalised in February 2016.


The CHARM consortium – funded by the European Commission - has €2.8M available to fund research and development projects. Please see the website Innovate UK for more information.

CHARM PCP Challenges

The CHARM consortium intends to support development of the private sector for traffic management centres. It also tries to reduce the costs of ownership and create a more flexible and adaptable traffic management system. Building on this objective, 3 separate Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) Challenges are defined to achieve substantial improvement of traffic management services:

  • Challenge 1: Advanced Distributed Network Management to realise a module that provides automated support for management of large (nationwide) traffic networks. The module should be a multi-layered, self-learning engine that is able to manage large networks and balances between different types of goals.
  • Challenge 2: Detection and Prediction of Incidents to realise a module that provides early identification and prediction of near future events on the road network (accidents, queues, etc.), called "virtual patrolling". Detection and prediction should be targeted at the top 3 incidents: accidents, car breakdowns and queues.
  • Challenge 3: Support of Cooperative ITS Functions to realise a module that supports the implementation of cooperative system services requiring a participation of intelligent infrastructure, in order to optimise the performance of the road network.

Phase 2 (Prototype) started at 22 April 2015. The winning bidders are going to build a prototype, to be delivered at February 2016. The winning bidders are:

Lot 1: Advanced Distributed Network Management 

  • Technolution B.V.
  • Mott MacDonald Limited 
  • PSI Mines & Roads GmbH

Lot 2: Detection and Prediction of Incidents 

  • Fileradar B.V.
  • Goudappel Coffeng 

Lot 3: Support of Cooperative ITS Functions 

  • Imtech Traffic & Infra UK Limited 
  • Beijer Automotive B.V.
  • Cubic Transportation Systems (ITMS) Limited

A summary of the bidders’ proposals is given in the publishable summaries (PDF, 148,03 kB).


The areas of challenge have been identified from earlier work conducted by the CHARM Programme. The Programme started with an analysis of the required business processes and functionalities. These requirements will be leading for the PCP project and will be developed into business, functional, application and infrastructure specifications. They will determine the overall architecture and specific technological challenges of a flexible, open and modular system to shift from the current technology push to demand driven innovation. The architecture and modules are co-dependent. 

The modules can only function when they fit within the architecture. The CHARM PCP project challenges the private sector to develop innovative traffic management modules that (eventually) fit within this architecture.

During the development of the innovations, the high-level architecture will be challenged by comparing the required data and generic modular functions from the perspective of the innovations. At the end of the CHARM Programme the innovations will be tested in an operational TMC, based on the same high-level architecture.

CHARM PCP Planning

Indicative planning of CHARM PCP Phase 2 and 3:

  • Start execution Phase 2: March 2015
  • Completion Phase 2: February 2016
  • Request for tender Phase 3: April 2016 
  • Start execution Phase 3: August 2016 
  • Completion Phase 3: July 2017

PCP in general

PCP is an approach for procuring R&D services which enables public procurers to: 

  • share the risks and benefits of designing, prototyping and testing new products and services with the suppliers, without involving state aid, 
  • create the optimum conditions for wide commercialisation and take-up of R&D results through standardisation and/or publication, 
  • pool the efforts of several procurers. 

By acting as technologically demanding first buyers of new R&D, public procurers can drive innovation from the demand side. This enables public authorities to innovate the provision of public services faster and creates opportunities for companies to take international leadership in new markets. Read the brochure on PCP (PDF, 353,02 kB).

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n°318722.


CHARM PCP Factsheet
pdf 218 kB / April 2016