The ITS Congress European Programme Committee (EPC) convened last week in what was their first in-person meeting since 2019. The two-day meeting (18-19 October) covered five of the ITS Congresses. Happily, as evidenced by the manner in which the packed agenda was tackled, the pandemic has done little to dim their passion and dedication towards the development of the Congress Programmes.

An effective programme for all

The EPC is a body of experts that play a central role in determining the Programme of the yearly ERTICO ITS Congresses organised in Europe, the Middle East and the Africa (EMEA) region. The EPC also work alongside the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions as part of the International Programme Committee (IPC) to help shape the Programme of the World Congresses.

The members of EPC come from a range of different sectors that represent stakeholders in Intelligent Transport Systems and Services (ITS) and Smart Mobility solutions from across Europe. Their role is to ensure a high-quality and impactful Congress Programme for the wider ITS community by advising on themes and topics, including the High-Level Programme, and assessing parts of the technical sessions in the Technical Programme.

Past and present on the agenda

The gathering of old and new members was also significant as it was the first face-to-face meeting convened by Ms Lisa Boch-Andersen since she became the EPC Chair in her capacity as Director of Communications, Congresses and Events at ERTICO – ITS Europe. “It was truly invigorating to meet face-to-face and have in-depth quality discussions on programme elements for our ITS Congresses. For me, it is essential to evolve the substance of the programme over time, and input from this distinguished group of experts from both the public and private sector of the ITS and mobility eco-system helps achieve that goal”, says Ms Boch-Andersen.

On the first day, a portion of the time was set aside for a debrief on the two Congresses that took place earlier this year: The 14th ITS European Congress in Toulouse in May and the 28th ITS World Congress in Los Angeles in September. The EPC members reviewed previous themes and focus areas as a basis for which direction we want to go with upcoming Congresses. A key focus was to prepare for the 15th ITS European Congress in Lisbon, taking place next year from Monday, 22 to Wednesday, 24 May. The experts worked together to develop the topics of the Plenary Sessions, which is a key element of the High-Level Programme, under the overarching theme of ‘ITS: The Game Changer’. At the same time, the process for the Technical Programme has been launched with the Call for Contributions open for submissions from across the entire ecosystem. The deadline is 16 December 2022.

The second day drew attention to the next two ITS World Congresses. Ms Lisa Boch-Andersen confirmed that the 29th ITS World Congress, organised by ITS Asia-Pacific under the theme ‘Driving towards intelligent society – quality life‘. The Congress will take place from 16 to 20 October 2023 in Suzhou, with the final format still to be confirmed.

The EPC took the discussion further to exchange ideas for the next 2024 World Congress to be organised by ERTICO in the EMEA region, including ideas around the most innovative topics under the overarching theme ‘Mobility Driven by ITS’. This 30th ITS World Congress will take place from 16 to 20 September in Dubai.

Renewed commitment

The discussions among the EPC experts proved once again that there is much for the ITS community to be proud of in terms of the progress made. At the same time, however, there is still some ground to cover before safe, efficient and sustainable mobility is fully deployed in an inclusive, accessible and equitable way. “The ITS Congresses offer a great platform to network while also discussing and witnessing the latest breakthroughs in terms of research and deployment of Smart Mobility solutions, and the EPC is determined to deliver an impactful programme for all,” says Joost Vantomme, ERTICO CEO, who also took part in meeting on the first day.

List of EPC members (new member names are in bold)

# Name Organisation CC
1 Abdul Rahman Al Awadhi Road Transport Authority UAE
2 André Perpey NeoGLS FR
3 Ashweeni Beeharee Satellite Applications Catapult UK
4 Christian Micas European Commission, DG CONNECT BE
5 Darren Capes Department for Transport UK
6 Delphine Krieger City and Eurometropolis of Strasbourg FR
7 Eetu Pilli-Sihvola TRAFICOM FI
8 Emrah Kınav Ford Otosan TR
9 Eric Sampson ERTICO-ITS Europe BE
10 Jan Ellsberger Huawei Technologies DE
11 Lisa Boch-Andersen (Chair) ERTICO-ITS Europe BE
12 Malika Seddi Asecap BE
13 Margriet van Schijndel-de Nooij (TU/e) NL
14 Meng Lu Dynniq NL
15 Mousa Mohamed Al Raeisy Road Transport Authority UAE
16 Oihana Otaegui Vicomtech ES
17 Panagiotis Lytrivis ICCS GR
18 Patrick Mercier-Handisyde European Commission, DG RTD BE
19 Pedro Barradas ITS Portugal PT
20 Petra Soderqvist European Commission, DG MOVE BE
21 Ricardo Vitorino UBIWHERE PT
22 Roger Pagny ATEC ITS France FR
23 Rolf Adomat Continental Corporation DE
24 Sascha Westermann Fujitsu DE
25 Stephane Dreher ERTICO-ITS Europe BE
26 Stephanie Leonard TomTom BE
27 Vassilis Agouridas AIRBUS Urban Mobility DE