Earlier this year, ERTICO – ITS Europe and the International Road Federation (IRF) established a strategic partnership to foster safer, more efficient and more sustainable transport and mobility. Following the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the ERTICO Supervisory Board invited Mrs Susanna Zammataro, Director General at IRF and Mr Anouar Benazzouz, President of IRF, to the Brussels Office to discuss the next steps and future priorities.
The meeting kicked off with a joint vision and the exchange of views on the detailed action plan that will implement the cooperation of the two organisations during the first year of the MoU. Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to continue supporting knowledge exchange and driving active discussions on mobility and transport issues. The focus now will be to complement each other’s expertise and initiatives in the field of smart mobility by organising joint activities while providing a platform for capacity building on sustainable and efficient transport.
“This new cooperation results from ERTICO’s ambition to connect the dots beyond its traditional focus. Transport and mobility have stepped out of vertical thinking and have become a true horizontal societal layer. Both ERTICO and IRF serve a wide range of member organisations in public and private sectors of the road and transport industry”, remarks Joost Vantomme, ERTICO CEO. “This newly minted cooperation provides a platform for the next generation of transport leaders. I welcome this new partnership, as it will foster greater synergies and enable the two organisations to share the knowledge we have gained in our mission as thought leaders. It will promote the roll-out of ITS and sustainable mobility solutions”.
Building on the strong momentum that resulted from the Joint Statement for COP27 that both organisations co-signed earlier in November, along with other like-minded organisations of ASECAP, ERF, IRU, ARMFA and ITA-AITES, the joint forces will further strengthen the pool of data of how Intelligent Transport Systems and the digitalisation of transport can receive the recognition they deserve in facilitating and enhancing the mitigation and adaptation of road transport to the adverse consequences of climate change.
One of their cooperation activities will also be a training package targeting both public authorities and the transport industry focussing on ITS as a key to a safe and sustainable future. Dr Johanna Tzanidaki, Chief Innovation Officer at ERTICO, also commented, “The cooperation framework and its implementing action plan agreed between the two organisations attests to the political will of the infrastructure and ITS public and private stakeholders that the two communities represent. The alignment on the next steps in addressing the most important global challenge of our generation, the adverse effects of climate change in transport, involved action points such as mobilising capacity building resources and the mapping of best practice with both our memberships”.
“The challenges the transport sector faces demand us a higher level of coordination and collaboration than what we have staged so far. Hence our renewed commitment to working closely with other sisters’ organisations in the sector. This action-oriented partnership with ERTICO is critical since technology is and will be central in the solutions we need to cater for the sector,” said Anouar Benazzouz, President of IRF, in greeting ERTICO Supervisory Board members.
Susanna Zammataro, IRF Director General, echoed Benazzouz’s emphasis on solutions “Both public and private sectors are eager to develop quickly effective and pragmatic solutions and do share the understanding of the importance of doing this together and the will to do so. Bringing IRF’s members and ERTICO’s members’ expertise together through this initiative means ensuring the sector moves from will to action and does so in a timeframe that reflects the urgency to which we are all confronted.”