Following the success of the 2006 (Göteborg, Sweden), 2008 (Ljubljana, Slovenia), 2010 (Brussels, Belgium) and 2012 (Athens, Greece) TRA (Transport Research Arena) conferences, this major event dedicated to transport in Europe, supported by the European Commission, the Conference of European Road Directors, and the three European Technology Platforms: the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC), the European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC), and the WATERBORNE TP, is currently being held in Paris, hosted by the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy and IFSTTAR.
This year, the motto of the conference is “Transport Solutions: From Research to Deployment, Innovate Mobility, Mobilise Innovation”, addressing the main challenges in transport and mobility of people and goods, with respect to energy, environment, safety and security and economy issues. TRA aims to explore the most advanced research works and innovations, the latest technological and industrial developments and implementations, and innovative policies, in Europe and worldwide.
Open to researchers and academics, students, engineers, decision-makers, transport infrastructure managers and owners, construction and engineering companies, traffic operation managers, transport operators, vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, ship builders, local authorities, governmental bodies and non-governmental organisations, TRA 2014 brings together over 3000 people this year.
The conference includes plenary sessions dedicated to general and policy presentations by invited keynote speakers, strategic sessions to convey policy messages and industrial key issues, scientific and technical sessions on the conference topics, where the accepted papers will be presented, either as oral or poster presentations, invited sessions to be proposed and organised by community or project leaders, submitted to the Programme Committee review and acceptance without published papers. Without forgetting 1000 m2 of exhibition allowing participants to discover the latest developments in this area.
In this context, UIC, through a stand, takes this opportunity to promote the technical expertise that can be brought to the development of research and innovation through the European framework programmes, the administrative services that can be provided through its External Funding Unit and the specialism that has been developed for the dissemination of communication materials, deliverables and the development of standards. A number of UIC technical specialists are involved in the organisation of scientific sessions, especially on infrastructure and security issues.
Daniel Bursaux, Director General for the French General Directorate Infrastructure, Transport and the Sea, representing the French Minister in charge of Transport, officially opened the conference and underlined French priorities for transport research as a major public policy in coordination with EU initiatives. Welcome Addresses were also made by Jean-Bernad Kovarik, TRA2014 Management Committee Chairman who delivered the overall welcome remarks and presented the ambitions of the 5th edition of the conference. Among them, “TRA has become increasingly multimodal since 2012. TRA is improving its role as an Arena where all the actors of the innovation chain can meet”.
TRA member organisation chairpersons had the opportunity to deliver their welcome during a round table. They included Simon Grima, Chairman of CEDR, who underlined the crucial role of TRA, with more research cooperation needed between partners; Wolfgang Steiger, Chairman of ERTRAC, who talked about the need to balance political views, industrial offers, societal needs; Joseph Doppelbauer, Chairman of ERRAC, who focused on SHIFT2Rail, the very first initiative improve mobility for millions of people, by enhancing capacity, consolidating reliability, reducing LCC; and Willem Laros, Chairman of WATERBONE TP, who presented the need to continue to develop cross cooperation on subjects of common interest such as energy consumption, safety, …
Keynote Speeches were also made by Shane Sunterland, representing Mrs Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, who presented the Horizon 2020 initiative and how it aims at tackling transport issues.
Mr José Viegas, Secretary General of ITF (International Transport Forum) at the OECD presented the challenges faced by transport and, conversely, how efficient transport systems and infrastructure contribute to achieve society’s overall ambitions through a green and inclusive approach .. for a resilient society. He also added “Transport is also an instrument for peace. […]
UIC Director General, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, who will participate in a strategic session organised on 16 April on “Rail as an Attractive and Sustainable Mode for the Future”, participated on 14 April in the TRA Opening session, presenting how the conference aims at job creation within the entire innovation chain. During this Opening session, Mr Loubinoux awarded three Young Researchers during the VISIONS TRA 2014 award ceremony. The Young Researchers presented with an award were:
- Alessandro Nardinocchi, from the Universita Politecnica delle Marche (Marche Polytechnic University), Italy, for the subject “Self Presetressed concrete” (First Prize)
- Sophie Damy, from Imperial College London, UK, for the subject “SPOT – Smart Positioning of Trains” (Second Prize)
- Nedjemi Djamel Eddine Rachedi, from the University of Valenciennes, France, for the subject “Conception of driver’s risky state decision system” (Third Prize).
Presentation given by José Pires on UIC Security activities and EU projects is available here:
Posters on HRMS - Harmonisation of Running Behaviour and Noise Measurement Sites, presented at TRA by Laurent Schmitt, from the UIC Rail System Department is available here: