On December 12, ECTRI celebrated its 15th Anniversary with a special event organised in Brussels. Over 170 invitees from more than 100 organizations, representatives from all transport sectors, from the European Commission and Member States, as well as ECTRI Members and associated or cooperating Organisations, have joined the event. They discovered the work of ECTRI Members’ DLR, IFSTTAR and University of Zilina. They then heard the views and insights from high level panelists: Young Tae Kim (Secretary-General, International Transport Forum, OECD), Prof. Tatiana Kováčiková, (ERA Chair Holder, ERAdiate project on ITS, National delegate for H2020 PC on Smart, Green and Integrated Transport, UNIZA, Slovakia), Gunnar Lindberg (Director, Transport Economics Institute TØI, Norway) and Signe Ratso (Deputy Director-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission DG RTD) on the challenges and opportunities for the future of European research and innovation in the mobility sector in the perspective of the new Framework Programme – Horizon Europe.
In its introductory words, the ECTRI President, Professor Mark Robinson reminded that “one of the key objective of ECTRI focuses on increasing European scientific cooperation, and that one of the key vehicles for this are the Framework programmes”; he pointed out that “FPs are a significant means to strengthen the knowledge base of the EU, stimulate innovation and address major global challenges. Hence, it is of utmost importance to implement an effective, efficient and impact-oriented strategy towards a successful Horizon Europe“.
In the lively and stimulating panel debate that followed, Gunnar Lindberg, TOI Director, and member of the ECTRI EU policy Task Force voiced two key challenges ahead: Decarbonizing transport – to meet the challenge of climate change – and Digitalization of transport. He underlined that Horizon Europe is on the right track but needs to ensure a broad approach covering social science and technological developement. It noted as well that Missions are important, giving Decarbonizing transport or Zero traffic accidents as exemples, because they have the possibility to align the EU instruments towards necessary solutions and set the mind to solve challenges. He added later that grouping mobility, climate and energy in the same cluster is a good strategy as it will broaden the approach and reduce the problems of Silos, in particular to focus on a «mission to decarbonize transport». Lastly he insisted that future Partnerships shall better align on societal needs rather than subsiding industrial products development, and also go beyond a purely modal approach, but look at a transport system approach.
ECTRI strives for excellence in sustainable and multimodal transport research. In the future and based on its vision, ECTRI will continue to focus on increasing European scientific cooperation by creating valuable partnerships and to deliver independent, evidence‐based advice to decision makers.
At the end of the session, Mark Robinson announced that a new ECTRI President Angelos Bekiaris will be taking over in January 2019 with a new team and will surely continue the good work for the next years and also bring a new impetus to drive ECTRI forward.
Afterwards the attendees were invited to join the networking dinner, where partners and colleagues from the ALICE TP, who were holding their Plenary meeting the day after, were also gladly invited to join.
A photo gallery is available here.