Staying competitive and seizing the opportunities

Decorative image Competitiveness

Time: 13.30–14.30

The transport sector is being reshaped by mitigating climate change through developing and deploying innovative technologies, using innovative mobility solutions fueled by data and creating value-adding collaboration between the private and public sector.

All these blocks are also crucial in maintaining and boosting European competitiveness. Strong European competitiveness equals strong competitiveness of Member States. How can we and how should we use results from research and innovation to shape policy-making at all levels towards sustainable growth and creating a European transport brand that is competitive and sustainable?

Systemic change means change for all of us. Therefore, we need to find the right paths and tools together. Answering the complex challenges requires not only innovative technological solutions but also new ways of collaboration in different clusters. We need to find ways of building up partnerships that create win-win situations and enable not only the development but also the deployment of innovations.

In order to become the frontrunner, Europe needs to invest in radical innovations and truly seize the emerging opportunities arising from collaborative and circular economies. The responses from the RDI are crucial in finding the right mix of enablers and identifying the barriers that need to be removed in order to boost European competitiveness.

Different transport modes are evolving towards more environmentally friendly operations to comply with the more stringent legal framework. Transition towards a greener transport sector is happening not only to comply with legal requirements but also based on initiatives to be more responsible and respond to the green calls from users.

At the same time, legislators are contemplating how to strike the right balance between predictability and flexibility, how to provide legal certainty and enable innovation. What kind of policies are needed to give the right guidance? How to regulate and deregulate in the right balance so that the correct mix of skills can be achieved to support competitiveness?

Besides moving towards greener transport, we need to shed light on the social fairness concerning the future developments, especially the impacts of automation. How can we, with help of research, find the means to mitigate the negative impacts of the change that transport sector is going through? Instead of boosting the digital divide, we need to work together to enable a socially fair transition, also considering the massive set of new skills that is needed to be able to respond to the changing environment.

We can do a lot with legal tools as well as to create financial incentives that guide us towards more sustainable and fair growth. However, we should also look at whether business policies of transport companies need to change in order to keep up with the pace of the developments in the society.

Are we hungry enough to succeed in fostering an atmosphere of cross-sectoral co-operation beyond transport? It is time to bring forth showcases of demand-driven innovation and strong entrepreneurship and move from technical discussion to policy level that responds to the challenges shaped by collaborative and circular economies.

In this plenary, the focus will be on measures that need to be taken to accumulate investments to foster European competitiveness and to map out the emerging trends in the innovation policy that support the fundamental modernisation of European mobility. We need to rethink how the research community could support and guide the transition at hand, from reassessment of professional competencies needed in the new era to horizontal issues, such as cybersecurity.

Arshia Gratiot, CEO, Third Space Auto View bio
Nina Kopola, Director General, Business Finland View bio
Jan Meyer, managing partner Meyer Turku View bio
Justas Petronis, Product Marketing Manager, Trafi View bio
Lars Stenqvist, Executive Vice President, Volvo Group Trucks Technology / Chief Technology Officer Volvo Group View bio
Jose Viegas, Professor, University of Lisboa View bio


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Programme information will be updated continually. Also, please note that all sessions and presenters are subject to change.