First publishedin ITS International
In October, ITS Belgium staged its most successful annual congress to date. However, as Stijn Van Cauwenberge outlines, the association is not going to rest on its laurels in 2008
This last year has been an important one for ITS Belgium. That may seem like a cliché. However, with Peter Van der Perre being appointed as Managing Director of ITS Belgium almost one year ago (after a career with Ertico
- ITS Europe for the past 10 years); a first commercial spin-off; a successful ITS Congress; and a number of ambitious projects initiated for the coming two years, this opening cliché almost seems an understatement.
Since its foundation in 2003 as an association of companies active in the vehicle telematics market (called Telematics Cluster), the ITS Belgium network has evolved into an organisation representing the three Belgian regional governments responsible for transportation and around 60 industry members active in both the vehicle telematics and traffic technology sectors.
When it comes to ITS, for many years Belgium could be associated with successful indigenous companies active in the traffic technology sector, such as Barco
. This, combined with a very mature vehicle telematics market including global players such as TeleAtlas and Transics, has created the perfect ingredients for innovative R&D projects and commercial breakthroughs.
In 2007, ITS Belgium generated its first commercial spin-off. As the result of an earlier trial project Be- Mobile was founded. Be-Mobile collects and aggregates traffic information from different data sources: floating vehicles, jam busters and government-owned roadside equipment. It offers the highest-quality traffic information on Belgian roads, based on its unique traffic data acquisition process, and successfully launched its commercial services just a few weeks ago. In collaboration with the Flemish IBBT (Interdisciplinary Institute for BroadBand Technology) a couple of research-intensive projects have also been successfully initiated by ITS Belgium, one of them being the Vialis-led Flexsys project. This is nearing completion and will have developed a flexible traffic management system to be deployed during roadworks and major events.