Infrastructure as an asset – are we there yet?

Decorative image Infrastructure

Time: 10.30–11.30

Physical infrastructure is the basic building block for transport. Up to now, our infrastructure has been mainly developed for the needs of separate transport modes. In order to tackle the challenges that we are facing, we need to do something differently.

The mutual challenges we should tackle at European level include fostering efficiency, enabling new energy storage solutions, improving multimodality and enhancing connectivity. Considering all of these, we need to find the right measures for developing and managing infrastructure during the whole life cycle. At the same time, shared challenges open shared opportunities.

We need to rethink the tools for a smooth transition towards a smart infrastructure that enables us to fully utilise the new opportunities that arise from using the existing infrastructure assets together with the digital and energy layers. When innovative solutions for infrastructure are being developed, TEN-T networks and logistic nodes are integral parts of the process, as they can serve as catalysts through RDI. Alongside defining the viable measures, there is an urgent need to rethink what the prominent models for financing this transition are. This plenary will focus on the essential factors needed to deliver a common vision for the next decade.

The prominent view is that all the data that will be generated from intelligent infrastructure, use of data through new services, applications and networks of networks will contribute towards multimodality, increased safety, more seamless travel chains and innovative services both for passenger and freight transport.

Digital technologies, cybersecurity, 5G, automation, smart energy grids and other paths of development will form an integral part of the physical infrastructure. In this mixture, we need to recognise the opportunities that we should utilise. However, before the prominent views become reality, we need to find ways to fix the existing problems, such as the aging infrastructure and more frequent extreme weather conditions placing demands on repair and maintenance. This calls for resource-efficient construction, management and operation of infrastructure networks.

How can we build the bridge from today’s world to the one which seems so prominent, including new types of partnerships as well as strengthening existing collaboration, in order to deliver what we want to? To what extent can we utilise the research sector to explore new models for public-private cooperation in infrastructure network development? We need to dive into the deep end and rethink how to find innovative ways to finance smart and sustainable infrastructure to ensure its full potential as part of logistic chains.

Lena Erixon, Director-General, Trafikverket, Swedish Transport Administration View bio
Henrik Hololei, Director-General for Mobility and Transport, European Commission View bio
Pertti Korhonen, Acting CEO, Traffic Management Finland Group View bio
Corinna Salander, Director, German Centre for Rail Traffic Research View bio


See the strategic sessions on the plenary theme


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