As we approach the end of another transformative year, it is the perfect moment of reflection and celebration for ERTICO’s achievements. 2023 has been another testament to our resilience and capacity to innovate throughout collaboration. The journey we have embarked upon together has a mission to change the face of mobility and this year has undoubtedly brought us closer to our vision. ERTICO’s journey to expand, deepen and broaden partnerships across nations and sectors, across public and private, continues to have a positive impact on all those involved, growing our knowledge in pursuit of innovation – and thus shaping the future of mobility.

Smart and sustainable mobility faces similar challenges across all regions worldwide, challenges that require common aligned actions, sharing knowledge and building strategic partnerships. In 2023, ERTICO is proud to have welcomed fourteen new partners: BEIA Consult, Cefriel, LuxMobility, TOFAS, City of Lamia, AVERE, KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence, General Motors, Amazon Web Services, Serbian Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Telecommunications Institutie, Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility and Innovation, and Ohmio. Partners remains at the heart of our work, and it is with them the pace and extent of digital transformation in the transport industry are getting even more traction. In 2023, we continued to ‘connect the dots’ towards a sustainable, efficient and safe mobility ecosystem and reinforce our vision towards 2035.

New alliances remained at the core of our plans

This year, ERTICO made great advances by creating and promoting new alliances with other sectors, such as the electromobility and telecoms sectors, tapping into the potential of clean and urban mobility, delivering on 5G and 6G projects with showcases in the logistics area and displaying the possibilities of a data-driven economy with data sharing through various platforms hosted by ERTICO. This also includes the signing of Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) with ITS Korea and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), including a Joint Statement of Sustainable Future Mobility Systems. Cooperation has been a focal point this year, and to leverage this, ERTICO has strengthened its collaboration with the Network of ITS Nationals Associations, hosting the Annual Plenary at the ERTICO offices in Brussels and in the UK Transport Technology Forum (TTF). In line with requirements set by European funding bodies, ERTICO is proud to be a bridge to the world, working with many non-European Partners.

During the first half of 2023, ERTICO focused on updating Priorities and Operating Plan, delivering some great results such as winning the HR Excellence Award. This brought stronger connections within the field of urban mobility, particularly as a selected member of the European Commission’s Expert Group on Urban Mobility. It was this year that we mirrored in our key values our joint effort to strengthen connections and enable positive transformations for future mobility with our Partners:  Cooperative, Impactful, Open, Passionate and Visionary.

Also, in 2023, some of our flagship projects, including 5G-MOBIX, FENIX Network and MODALES ended their lifecycles and handed over new beginnings and acquired over six new European-funded research projects.

The 15th ITS European Congress was held in Lisbon from 22 – 24 May, themed ‘ITS: The Game Changer’. With over 2,500 registered participants from 59 countries, hundreds of technical sessions and plenty of ERTICO-organised sessions and activities, the Lisbon Congress was a remarkable success. The Smart Mobility Summit of Cities and Regions brought together representatives from over 30 cities and regions from across the EMEA region to discuss how intelligent and green mobility can contribute to sustainable growth and a better quality of life for all citizens.

In October, the 29th ITS World Congress took place in Suzhou, China, where I had the pleasure of representing the European perspective on mobility digitalization, including ERTICO’s role in the changing urban mobility landscape. The host, ITS Asia-Pacific was supported by the other two regions, ERTICO – ITS Europe and ITS America, in setting up a valuable event for the ITS community. We were thrilled to share that the city of Istanbul, Turkey, has been selected as the ‘preferred candidate’ to host the 2026 ITS European Congress and the city of Birmingham, United Kingdom, as the ‘preferred candidate’ to host the 2027 ITS World Congress. The next ITS World Congress taking place in September 2024, will be hosted in Dubai, focusing on “Mobility Driven by ITS,” exploring the transformative power of Intelligent Transportation Systems. The Congress preparations are currently in full swing, actively shaping the technical program through the submissions received, alongside opportunities for commercial participation, exhibitions, and demonstrations.

Throughout the year, ERTICO had an active representation at many events and hosted several meetings. In March 2023, ERTICO-ITS Europe organized a one-day Focus-On event on Mobility Standards in Brussels to share perspectives on the imperative role of standards in the ever-evolving landscape of mobility services and products. In December 2023, ERTICO-ITS Europe hosted a pivotal ‘Focus On’ Partnership event in London, spotlighting micromobility, examining the dynamic growth and legal aspects of micromobility, sparking discussions on the pivotal role of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) in fostering sustainable mobility and managing multimodal traffic. Cities, adapting to evolving mobility and disruptive business models, sought effective responses for the seamless integration of micromobility into urban landscapes. Other meetings include the webinar on ITS stories from the war in Ukraine, and Brussels’ edition of the Digital Mobility Solutions Conference at Busworld.

To enable our shared vision, the ERTICO Partnership successfully organized many sectoral meetings and introduced cross sectoral events as valuable facilitators of dialogue among ERTICO’s distinct sectors. In 2023, we organized 3 cross-sectoral meetings (Users-Vehicle Manufacturers-Suppliers, Research-Service providers-Connectivity, Traffic and Transport and Public Authorities) providing further opportunities for the Partners to stay up to date with the EU policies and the EU agenda. We are delighted with the active participation, the high attendance rates of ERTICO partners and the positive feedback on these cross-sectoral meetings.

This year was also a great success in raising awareness and promoting ERTICO’s activity portfolio. ERTICO was present at many events including the Urban Mobility Days, the ITS Ireland Annual Conference, Smart Cities EXPO World Congress, PrepDSpace4Mobility Expert Workshops among many others. We gained strong advocacy and legitimacy across all our Focus Areas: Connected, Cooperative & Automated Mobility, Clean & Eco-Mobility, Urban Mobility and Transport & Logistics. During the yearly Activity Development Days (ADD), from 21-22 June, nearly 100 representatives gathered to shape the future priorities and joint innovation targets of the ERTICO Partnership in smart mobility.

There are many more to come

We will continue this journey to broaden our network across the Smart Mobility Ecosystem, advancing innovation and deployment of new technologies and solutions, while actively focusing on engaging in fruitful dialogues with other European and international organisations for the future of ITS. Looking ahead to the coming year, we stand on the brink of new opportunities, fresh challenges, and exciting prospects. We believe that strengthening our partnerships across continents, sectors, and civil society,  shaping a culture of collaboration, support and excellence is the way to reach new heights and accomplish even more remarkable feats in the year ahead. And we have a great deal of exciting work ahead of us.

Moreover, 2024 will be a year of strategic thinking for ERTICO, aiming at revisiting ERTICO’s key objectives. We will examine also our focus areas and we will update them based on the new developments and the new smart mobility concepts and goals. And in this endeavour, we will need the support and active engagement of all of you. More to come on this.

At last, let me extend my gratitude to each of you, who have played an integral role in the successes achieved, the milestones reached and the challenges surpassed. Wishing you and your loved ones a joyous holiday season and a prosperous New Year filled with success, happiness, and fulfilment.

Dr Angelos Amditis, Chairman of ERTICO – ITS Europe