As we step into 2024 with new energy and optimism, ERTICO CEO, Mr Joost Vantomme, shares his warm welcome of this new year. Building on the achievements and constructive changes made last year, including the expansion of ERTICO’s activities, partners, and collaborations, this new year will symbolise growth and progress. Together with the ERTICO team, and our Partners, we look forward to all the positive developments that the year will hold. Before setting the scene for this new year, Mr Vantomme looks back on 2023, his second year as CEO. 

Last year, the world witnessed a continued blend of technological advancements and global challenges. Innovations in artificial intelligence, renewable energy, and space exploration marked significant milestones, while concerns about climate change intensified. Digital transformations enabled virtual spaces to become an integral part of society. Discussions related to equity, diversity, and inclusion gained momentum across various sectors. We noted this throughout the global transport sector, which underwent a transformative journey shaped by technological breakthroughs, environmental imperatives, and shifting societal demands.

The ERTICO 2023 achievements, highlighted by Chairman, Dr Angelos Amditis, reflected our dedicated work for driving innovation, new thinking and collaboration forward. Our journey last year marked many milestones, including the expansion of ERTICO’s Partnership across the wider mobility ecosystem. We welcomed 14 new members, including BEIA Consult, Cefriel, LuxMobility, TOFAS, City of Lamia, AVERE, KIOS Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence, General Motors, Amazon Web Services, Serbian Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Telecommunications Institute, Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility and Innovation, and Ohmio. The collaborative efforts of our +120 members will continue to address societal transportation challenges, focusing on improved safety, decarbonisation and digitalisation of transport. Drawing on inspiration from the evolving trends in transportation and mobility, this year will present strategic dialogues with our Partners to reach the next level. ERTICO’s yearly events will serve as key discussion forums for knowledge exchange and expertise, including FOCUS ON and Activity Development Days. We are also pleased to announce the first edition of our annual Think Tank event which will return in the second half of the year.

Connecting the dots remains a key motto

As we move into a new strategic year, ERTICO will continue to connect sectors, innovations, technologies and policies. Our cooperation and networking partners will play an important role, and we will strive to further strengthen collaborations across the wider mobility landscape in Europe and beyond. This includes close collaboration with National ITS organisations to address sector-specific trends and challenges. We will also continue the active participation in the European Commission expert groups and intensified teamwork with the national ITS associations, the colleagues of ITS America, ITS Asia-Pacific and other ITS organisations.

To kick off this new year, we embark on a new and exciting chapter, starting with the relocation of our offices to Avenue Louise 523, 1050 Brussels. This strategic move not only enhances our accessibility but also positions ERTICO at the heart of Brussels’ vibrant business and technological landscape. Through active contributions and involvement of all team members, we have re-shaped our workplace environment, one that focuses on collaboration and innovation alongside our new core values: Cooperative, Impactful, Open, Passionate, Visionary. These represent the team’s ethos and the joint effort with partners to strengthen connections between public and private stakeholders. Recognising the significance of a strong team, we have made great efforts in HR-related actions, including winning the 2023 HR Excellence Award for the Best Workplace Redesign. Looking forward, our ambition is to continue facilitating smart and sustainable mobility solutions which remains at the heart of what we do.

2024 will mark a significant transformation for the transport and mobility sector. Electric mobility is set to reach new heights, with an increased focus on expanding electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and improving battery technology for extended ranges. Autonomous vehicles will also continue to evolve, leveraging advanced artificial intelligence and sensor technologies to enhance safety and reliability. Smart and sustainable urban mobility solutions will gain momentum, featuring real-time tracking, contactless payment systems, and optimised routes. The logistics and freight industry will also witness further automation, utilising expertise for efficient last-mile deliveries. Regulatory frameworks will play a crucial role in managing these innovations, ensuring safe integration and addressing concerns about societal impact. ERTICO will continue to follow these developments across all domains and will remain committed to inspiration and advocacy work, particularly in the recognition of ITS as an enabler for decarbonisation within the Taxonomy regulatory framework.

This new year will also hold many positive developments for ERTICO’s activities, notably the launch of several EU-funded projects, but also extended collaborations and networking opportunities with our Partners and the wider network. From 16-20 September, we will invite the global ITS community to participate at the 30th ITS World Congress in Dubai, themed ‘Mobility Driven by ITS’. Together with our Partner and host city, Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA), this annual flagship event will serve as an important forum to network and exchange ideas from previous discussions highlighted last year at the 15th ITS European Congress in Lisbon and the 29th ITS World Congress in Suzhou. It will also promise to unveil new and innovative topics, emerging technologies as well as solutions for recurrent and future challenges with perspectives from all the regions.

Providing concrete added value for our >120 Partners is a given. Access to information, knowledge and policy developments is one factor, being part of EU-funded projects (and other sources) is another asset. Co-creation of new concepts and innovations in the industry is an avenue that ERTICO will activate even more through new innovation platforms, cross-Atlantic partnerships and thought leadership content for the upcoming new European Commission and Parliament mandate. We will also continue the dialogues, including the ongoing series of cross-sector meetings across ERTICO sectors initiated last year, consistently extending invitations to the European Commission for each session. 2024 will also be the year of our Partnership Ambassador programme where we will even more involve our members and glue our teamwork.

At last, 2024 promises a dynamic era for the mobility sector, marked by sustainability, technological advancements, and a commitment to reshaping the future of mobility. ERTICO will continue to facilitate safer, smarter, and more sustainable solutions for the benefit of all.

Keep up to date with ERTICO’s newsfeed and subscribe to the Newsletter for many more upcoming announcements and the latest happenings from our Partners and Activities.

A warm thank you to our Partners, my team, the Chairman and other members of the Supervisory Board and Strategy committee, the Network of ITS Nationals, our policy stakeholders and friends of the mobility innovation community.