Sustaining road transport mobility through innovation in Europe’ is the theme of the third biennial Transport Research Arena (TRA) event in Brussels from 7 to 10 June 2010. TRA 2010 will bring together road transport stakeholders and researchers in a single European road transport research area. The event will present innovation, research and development in transport and road construction with a focus on climate change and road safety.
TRA 2010 and its supporting exhibition will be a meeting place for anyone professionally engaged in transport. The Brussels event is supported by the Conference of European Directors of Roads (CEDR), the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC) and the European Commission. Over 1 000 participants are expected, including public authorities, consultancy and engineering groups, interest groups, contractors, suppliers, car manufacturers and fuel producers.
Transport plays an important role in the European economy and society with many different industries and services involved. TRA provides a platform for transport research in Europe. Following the past two editions in Gothenburg (2006) and Ljubljana (2008), the Brussels event will deal with greener, smarter and safer transport. A large number of speakers will elaborate on the current needs of the transport sector and look at the future challenges.
The event provides information at three levels: general interaction in the plenary sessions, specific views on topics and policies in strategic sessions and in-depth presentations and discussion on specific topics within thematic sessions. The programme is built around six pillars: European road research needs and agendas; transport, mobility and infrastructure; safety and security; energy, environment and resources; design and production – automotive and infrastructure; and the social importance of road transport.
1. Energy use and sustainability in transport
The European transport sector, particularly road freight, is growing rapidly, with far-reaching implications for citizens and the environment. In coming years, Europe and the rest of the world will be working on the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy. For the transport sector, this implies renewable energy, greener vehicles, optimised transport management, and smart infrastructures. Technological innovations will be a major asset in responding to the challenges, but there will also be significant changes in transport pricing, urban planning, travel patterns, etc. A balance of political and industry speakers will address these complex issues:
Ms Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda;
Mr Matthias Ruete, Director General, European Commission Mobility and Transport DG;
Dr Panos Cavoulacos, Chairman of the European Petroleum Industry Association
Mr Marc Papinutti, Director General of Roads in France
2. Future transport
The European Commission is preparing the strategic framework for policy action in the transport sector for the next decade. Climate change and over demand for oil will force transport to abandon fossil fuels on which the sector relies almost completely today. Improvement in transport system efficiency must be made, but ultimately the sector will face the technological challenge of finding alternative energy carriers. Fast progress on research and technology is crucial, both for European competitiveness and to reduce emissions also outside the Union. This session sets the scene:
Mrs Anne E. Jensen, Member of the European Parliament, Denmark;
Mr Peter H. Appel, International Cooperation, US Department of Transport Research Innovation in Transport Agency (RITA);
Dr Josef Kunz, General Director of Roads in Germany;
Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management, Volkswagen Brand;
Mr Jos Ding, Director, European Federation for Transport and Environment (T&E); and
Mr Fred Wegman, Director of SWOV (Road Safety Institute of the Netherlands).
3. Urban mobility
With increasing numbers of Europeans living in towns and cities, urban mobility is of growing concern. Cities need efficient transport to support their economies and the welfare of their inhabitants. A panel of policy, user and industry speakers will discuss urban mobility:
Sir Albert Bore, member of the Committee of the Regions and of Birmingham City Council
Mrs Helma Orosz, Mayor of Dresden and 2010 President of POLIS, the network of European cities and regions working to develop innovative technologies and policies for local transport;
Mrs Anne-Sophie Parent, Secretary General, AGE EUROPE, European Older People’s Platform;
Mr Jan-Eric Sundgren, Senior Vice President, AB Volvo;
Mr Jean-Claude Moureau, Director General, Brussels Mobility; and
Mr Rémi Bastien, Vice President Research, Advanced Engineering and Materials, Renault
The strategic sessions will further develop the topics evoked in the pillars, emphasising: the European ‘green cars’ initiative; co-operative systems; Integrated mobility management; safer transport; intelligent transport systems; logistics and multi-modal transport; the future of transnational research; Information and communications technology (ICT) for energy efficiency; and mobility challenges for cities.
Finally, the thematic sessions will go into technical details and give the floor to various speakers and keynote players in their field of research.
The TRA event will take place in the newly renovated SQUARE Brussels Meeting Centre. An exhibition will be held during the entire congress, enabling participants in TRA 2010 to meet partners and to expand business relations with all important players in transport research and transport innovation. On Wednesday 9 June, the exhibition will be open to the general public.