I feel privileged to welcome all of you to Transport Research Arena 2020 in Helsinki! In my new position as the chair of TRA management committee, I hope I can live up to the high standard that already has been set for organising this conference. Since its inception, TRA has offered a great forum to bring forth debates surrounding the emerging topics in research and transport. TRA 2020 will be organised around four main themes: climate change, new mobility services, infrastructure and European competitiveness.
Every choice and every action matters when we mitigate climate change. It all starts with responsibility at the level of the individual to corporate strategies as well as political choices. Personally, I feel that I can do a lot as a citizen, but to be honest I know that I should have done a lot more. I would like to urge all of you to rethink what are the choices and actions that could be taken. Small streams make large rivers!
Modes of travelling have not changed that much during the past 50 years. The main elements are the same they used to be, with the addition that the road networks are more extensive and more congested, and cars keep getting bigger. We are facing a pressing need to have more intelligent, sustainable and reliable infrastructure, which is financed on viable ways. I invite you to rethink together the complexity of infrastructure investment decisions, and to share innovative finance experiences and views on upgrading infrastructure or implementing new technologies.
Besides the calls for finance, there are also other new kids on the block: The unstoppable force of technological disruption combined with the shift of how users view mobility. In TRA 2020, we want to bring forth the best practices on how to enable the integration of data-driven innovative mobility services within the existing framework. We also want to shed light on how artificial intelligence will change the ways of developing solid business models and achieving public acceptance in order to move from research and development to deployment.
Fast changing ecosystems require rapid decisions, let it be business or operating models or creating new partnerships. European competitiveness is one of the four main themes for TRA 2020. I call on all of you to join us in Helsinki, to rethink how we can seize emerging opportunities and understand the impact and timing of the disruption that we are facing in transport sector. Your contributions will enable us to achieve a more sustainable, inclusive and competitive transport sector.
Welcome to Helsinki,
Mrs. Päivi Wood, Chair of the Management Committee
Director of EU and International Affairs, Traficom