ECTRI Celebrates 20 Years of Advancements in Sustainable and Multimodal Mobility Research

The year 2023 marks our 20th Anniversary. To celebrate this milestone, we gathered our Members and Partners on November 15, for grand event held at the prestigious Palais des Académies in Brussels.

Under the theme, “Celebrating 20 Years of Achievements in Sustainable and Multimodal Mobility Research,” we brought together prominent figures in the field to discuss how can research drive green and inclusive mobility and the transformative impact of research on transport policy.

The event, which was preceded by the ECTRI Board and Assembly of Members meetings, started with a welcome speech from Ingrid Skogsmo, President of ECTRI, highlighting key achievements of the past 20 years. She reiterated ECTRI’s role in leveraging its Members’ contributions to the most relevant transport research agendas promoting a multimodal and truly integrative transport system in Europe. Ms Skogsmo concluded stressing that “a lot of hard work and enthusiasm by many people, has brought ECTRI to where it is today, being right on course in fulfilling [its] vision of making ECTRI the leading European research Association for sustainable and multi-modal mobility”.

Magda Kopczyńska, Director General for Mobility and Transport at the European Commission, provided a video message paying tribute to ECTRI’s contributions to the mobility debate at large and trusting on a continued fruitful collaboration. She highlighted the key transport policies in preparation and the importance to have evidence-based advices from the research community to draw those policies.   

The core of the event unfolded through a series of thought-provoking scientific speeches on “How Research Can Drive Green and Inclusive Mobility” from three ECTRI community experts:

  • Anu Tuominen, Principal Scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, provided valuable insights into the transformative capacity municipalities need, to boost shifts towards active transport [presentation].
  • Roberto Palacin, Professor and Chair of Transport Futures at Newcastle University, delved into the role of modelling and machine learning in developing innovative ways to design more effective policies for creating more liveable urban spaces [presentation].
  • Alexandra Millonig, Senior Scientist at the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), advocated for mobility sufficiency as a guiding principle for achieving climate neutrality and transport equity .

The scientific speeches were followed by a compelling and interactive panel discussion on the value and impact of research into the definition of European transport policies. The panel featured esteemed guests from different sectors: Jane Amilhat (Head of Unit Low Emission Future Industries DG RTD, European Commission), Angel Aparicio (Professor of Transport Planning and Economics, Technical University Madrid – UPM), Magnus Blinge (Research Manager, SCANIA) and Stephen Perkins (Senior Counsellor, International Transport Forum at OECD).

Over the last 20 years “transport” has changed, the world has changed, and the view of research has changed. In the words of our President “It is more important than ever that decisions shaping our society are informed decisions, resting on well-founded understanding of problems, of potential solutions, and their possible effects.”

The event concluded with closing remarks from Caroline Alméras, Secretary General of ECTRI who underlined some of the upcoming plans and actions, and who also thanked all Members, Partners and guests inviting all to meet again in Dublin for the TRA 2024 (April 15-18, 2024), to continue the discussion on how research and innovation can shape the transport and mobility system.

The celebration came to a close with a vibrant cocktail and networking reception, offering further opportunities for networking and discussing the future of mobility.

We invite to peruse the photo gallery and share your own photos on social media with #ECTRI20.

A huge thank to our speakers, attendees, and everyone who contributed to making this event a resounding success. Cheers to the future!