Susanna Zammataro, director general of IRF Geneva, and Joost Vantomme, chief executive of Ertico, put pen to paper at the Ertico stand as the first step towards formalising the relationship.
“Partnerships are part of our DNA,” Zammataro told The Daily News. “With this agreement we are enlarging our reach, bringing our two organisations together to exchange knowledge and expertise. There will be more regular institutional contact, events and activities. So, watch this space.”
“We’ve been working with the IRF Geneva for some time now but this MoU formalises our working relationship,” said Vantomme. “It’s about spreading best practice, joint projects also, consortium building and conferences. People used to think about a road being just a road, but now it’s about data gathering. The MoU should help move this ahead.”
Later today Zammataro will mark the launch of its IRF Committee on Innovation during a workshop on how innovation is driving the future of sustainable mobility. The Committee on Innovation will consist of subgroups to share expertise and knowledge and to tailor solutions – both policy and technical – to the pressing issues facing the sector.
New technologies are creating major opportunities for transport. Artificial intelligence, drones and digitalisation have a huge impact on how the sector plans, designs, builds and operates infrastructure. These technologies have created easier and cheaper ways to generate the missing data and to transform data into intelligence. Data is key to assessing and quantifying the gap between where we stand and where we want to be and to inform action and investments.
But while data and new technologies are crucial, they’re not enough; innovation is key for a better future. The Committee on Innovation will be officially launched by Matthew Baldwin, deputy director general of the European Commission. Other speakers include Christoph Bergdolt from SWARCO, Shawn Lowry at 3M in the US, Clarissa Han with ARRB in Australia and Paul O’Hanlon from the Holcim Innovation Center in France.