It’s October, time for the congress again, time for Tokyo to join the prestigious list of host cities for these large events. The 8,000 expected participants in the 20th ITS World Congress will have the opportunity to take part in 250 sessions, visit 700 booths in the exhibition area and register for the 20 different showcase demonstrations.

But ITS Tokyo will also be the occasion to think ahead about the upcoming European congress next June in the superb city of Helsinki. To start with, the Call for Papers will be officially opened on the first day of the Tokyo Congress on 14 October. Attendees will receive all the information needed in the delegate bag, so be sure to look for the striking “ITS in your pocket” leaflet when scanning the useful material provided in the bag.

Next year for the first time, in addition to the technical and scientific papers, a new one for commercial papers dedicated to near-market research work has been included in the Call. The Technical Papers category should address institutional, business, economical and technical aspects of ITS; while professionals submitting Scientific Papers should focus on research in the style of an academic essay. Papers submitted to this brand new Commercial Papers category should analyse and describe activities related to the business aspect such as how to improve existing products or to present a new product or idea for commercial use. The commercial sessions will be presented in a “commercial theatre” in the exhibition area and will be open to all participants.

Writing a paper is a full-time job; the congress organising committee is well aware of the efforts that each writer puts into the paper and appreciate the time spent. In order to make the best papers even more visible, the committee signed an agreement with the IET Intelligent Transport Systems journal to publish some of finest papers from the 2014 congress. After the event, authors of scientific papers considered suitable for publication, will be invited to expand their work to go into more detail regarding their research and theories. Those papers will go through a peer-review process according to IET ITS standards and, if accepted, they will be indexed in the citations database.

For more information (or clarification) about the Call and enquiries, contact Pamela Valente, ERTICO Congress Officer at or download the Call for Papers here.

Tokyo will also be the place where the “ITS in your pocket” App Contest 2014 will be officially opened. On Tuesday 15 October, Minna Kivimäki, Director General of the Transport Ministry of Finland, will launch the contest which will award the best developers and the best traffic applications for smartphones. Don’t miss the opportunity to try Finnish cheese and cheer the future congresses (Helsinki in 2014 and Bordeaux in 2015) with a glass of Bordeaux wine at the reception hosted at the European Pavilion from 17:00 while learning more about the contest.

What is the contest about?

The App contest is directed at new applications that can ease mobility in cities as well as in rural areas. The competition will select the best apps in three different categories:
• applications to boost the use of multimodal transport;
• applications for sustainable urban mobility;
• “out of the box” innovations for better mobility.

Submitted apps should focus on consumers (in line with the Congress theme “ITS in your pocket”); be original and work on a wide range of nomadic devices.

A special prize awarded by Nokia and AppCampus will be given to the best ITS enabled application on Lumia Smartphone; while another prize will be granted to the best application to help mobility in the city of Helsinki.

The contest will be coordinated in Finland by the app contest team composed of Ville Kairamo, Tero Piirainen and Jukka Lintusaari and is open to companies, teams, and individual developers from across Europe. Developers will have the opportunity to learn from the best experts about intelligent traffic systems and will get to develop their ideas and proposals with the guidance of experts.

Companies taking part in the contest will benefit from extensive publicity across Europe as well as funding for further development of their work. Interaction and community support will be ensured to local developers with a series of webinars and facilitated workshops available locally in several European cities.

Applicants will have time until April 2014 to submit their proposals and a shortlist of selected applicants will be published in May. Winners of the three categories (multimodality, sustainability, and innovation) will be notified early June and invited to attend the Opening Ceremony on 14 June in Helsinki. Attendees to the European Congress will have the chance meet the developers and their App in the Start up Village in the Exhibition next June.

All questions about the app (including the selected jury and prizes) will be answered next week at the ITS World Congress, where the 7.815,26 kilometres between Tokyo and Helsinki (and the 6 hours jet-lag) will be taken away by a cheerful reception at the European Pavilion booth (122) on 15 October.

Commercial’ Congress Papers – A New Helsinki Opportunity
Eric Sampson, Congress Senior Programme Adviser talks about the Commercial’ Congress Papers

It will be obvious to readers that ITS has moved a long way since the first World Congress in 1994. The emphasis then was on assessing emerging technologies and the outputs from research projects against cost, reliability, performance, etc. We operated a policy of not accepting overly commercial papers without defining exactly the line between acceptable and not acceptable. Today we have much more emphasis on deployment and practical solutions for users and we realised that our policy was not working for papers that deal with very applied subjects or discuss commercial products and processes. We even had cases where essentially the same material was recommended for acceptance if submitted by an academic organisation author but rejected if from a commercial organisation. This is clearly unfair and unhelpful and had to be addressed as papers from authors working for commercial companies are in principle welcome.
Our solution to the problem is based on considering the extent to which the possible practical application of the new knowledge described in the paper has been specified and we recognise two cases. First, pre-market activity in which work is aimed at generating new knowledge which, while not at present linked to the development of a specific product, is likely to be commercially exploitable in due course. The other case is near-market work where the activity has been aimed at generating or improving a specific product, device or idea for the commercial market. A paper that describes pre-market work will be treated in the usual way and will be presented in one of the mainstream Congress sessions. For papers that are near-market we are experimenting with a new Congress format for Helsinki – presentation in sessions held in a “Commercial Theatre” within the exhibition area to emphasise the link to commercial sales and deployment.