On 28-29 June, the ERTICO’s Innovation and Deployment Department organised its annual Activity Development Days (ADD) exclusively for our 115+ members. The purpose of the two-day event was to determine the ERTICO Partnership’s future priorities, especially within the context of the European Commission’s future policy plans and targets.
The agenda was divided into the four focus areas of the ERTICO Partnership: Cooperative Connected and Automated Mobility (CCAM), Transport and Logistics, Urban Mobility and Clean Mobility. Each session began with a panel discussion with two ERTICO members (one each from the public and private sectors) and a representative of different Directorates-General of the European Commission (EC), which focused on ITS and mobility priorities and set the scene for discussing the EC’s 2022 proposal Calls. The discussion focused on how best to progress the Partnership’s work and update the ERTICO implementation roadmaps towards entirely safe, efficient and decarbonised transport.
In speaking about the EU’s new Urban Mobility framework, Torsten Klimke, Head of Unit – DG MOVE, emphasised the fundamental and inextricable link between the Green Deal and the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy. Zeljko Jeftic, Deputy Director Innovation and Deployment at ERTICO, spoke of the urgency of integrating the targets set by the Green Deal in all ERTICO activities and projects. Mr Jeftic stated that “although ERTICO initiatives already include a sustainability target, more work needs to be done to ensure that the impact of all ERTICO Partnership projects and activities contributes to these targets even after the completion of the projects”.
Seven speakers from the European Commission (DG MOVE; DG RTD; DG CONNECT) presented priorities in Mobility at the four thematic panels while CINEA, the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency, shared important information on proposal preparation under the new framework programme of Horizon Europe, which was officially published the week before. The EIB and the European organisation Eurocities shared information on other funding opportunities for public and private ERTICO partners. All guest speakers indicated the European Green Deal to be the overarching priority for Research & Innovation.
Christina Martinez, Deputy Head, Smart Mobility and Living, DG CONNECT, closed the event by sharing some preliminary information on the Digital Europe Programme, which is expected to be officially launched in September. The well-attended event was moderated by Dr Johanna Tzanidaki, ERTICO’s Director of Innovation & Deployment, and delivered together with 20 of the department’s transport and mobility experts. A total of 11 Call topics were discussed. The discussion focused on the 2022 Calls, even though the submission deadlines for some are more than a year from now (i.e. September 2022).
Although the Horizon Europe Calls were officially published by the EC a mere two or three days before the ADD event, the ERTICO team is already working with Partners on preparing the proposals for the 2021 Calls, having previously completed the preparatory work, including a survey sent to ERTICO members last November. As a reminder: in 2020, ERTICO was active in 25+ EU co-funded projects under the former framework of Horizon 2020, with a total multi-annual project value for all project partners of EUR 356 million.
“We are very pleased to have such a large response from ERTICO members to this significant annual event. Our partners are eager to continue their work on making our cities and rural areas more liveable. We are also very grateful to the European Commission, CINEA, EIB and Eurocities’ representatives for their insights and for sharing their priorities with us. The ERTICO Partnership’s close cooperation with the decision-making bodies is key towards achieving a constructive exchange of information on the future of mobility”, says Dr Tzanidaki.