By presenting its bid book to ERTICO during the opening of the Automotive Week 2017 in Helmond, the Netherlands has joined the competition for the organisation of the prestigious European Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) in 2019. With broad support from other cities, regions and the Dutch ITS industry, the Brainport region is the Dutch candidate to host the more than 2,000 participants. The municipalities of Helmond and Eindhoven, Brainport Development, the province of North Brabant, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and Connekt are making a concerted effort in this partnership, under the motto: fulfilling ITS promises!
The Netherlands and ITS
The Netherlands has been working on the implementation of ITS as an integrated part of our approach to mobility since the 1980s. We urgently need much more efficient, environmentally friendly and safer mobility in our densely-populated country. The Netherlands is determined to be at the forefront in the development of smart vehicles and infrastructure, which will enable us to platoon and, later, even drive autonomously. The ITS industry is eminently qualified to give a considerable boost to this ambition and to help us enhance our accessibility, safety and quality of life enormously.
Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen of Infrastructure and the Environment: “We want to prevent a patchwork of different systems and rules. Autonomous cars from different manufacturers must be able to communicate with one another. And we want to be able to cross borders smoothly, without having to give updates every time. This means that we have to work together at the European level. The Netherlands took the initiative when we held the Presidency of the European Council last year. Our country has the ideal combination of a good infrastructure, smart researchers and an innovative business sector, making it the spot for an ITS European Congress in 2019.”
Nico Anten, managing director of Connekt: “The Netherlands is, furthermore, good at public-private collaboration. All the ITS parties involved are combining forces in Connekt, a network for smart, sustainable and social mobility. 'Confidence in connection' is key here. After all, successful public-private collaboration only works if based on a shared interest. This is an important message for ‘Fulfilling ITS promises’ in 2019.”
Christophe van der Maat, member of the provincial executive for mobility and collaboration of the province of North Brabant: “We are committed to bringing forward the future of new mobility, forcing breakthroughs and realising measurable results. This is why we are providing a testing area for smart mobility here in Brabant; we have the room to develop, test and roll out on regular roads and, by doing so, to discover what does and doesn't work. We, in the south of the Netherlands, are working on realising our ambition with the aid of the SmartwayZ.NL programme. Brabant's cities are proud to be able to set an example for Europe and to show what is possible with innovative mobility solutions on the road and for users. At the ITS European Congress in 2019, visitors will be able to see and experience this for themselves.”
Three-quarters of the Dutch automotive sector is located in the Brainport region. This region is a testing ground and 'living lab' for smart mobility solutions. In recent years, the Automotive Campus in Helmond has expanded to become an international hotspot for knowledge development and innovation in the field of smart & green mobility. “The ITS European Congress 2019 will give a substantial boost to the many innovative companies and organisations working on smart mobility solutions in and around the Automotive Campus. This will help us to attract more companies and, in turn, to create more jobs. The fact that ERTICO sees us as a promising candidate is confirmation of the good reputation the region has built up”, says Jos van Bree, alderman for economic affairs of the municipality of Helmond.
Jannie Visscher, alderman for traffic and transport of the municipality of Eindhoven, also envisages a great many opportunities: “Eindhoven specialises in ‘Mobility as a service’. We work together with residents on smart mobility services and we feel very strongly about the quality of life too. For example, our public transport fleet comprises more electric, emission-free buses than anywhere else in Europe. Holding the ITS congress here would be very fitting.”
The ITS European Congress will take place in Strasbourg in June 2017. Administrators and partners are doing their best to convince congress organiser ERTICO that the Brainport region is the ideal venue for this event in 2019. ERTICO will decide on the winning candidate in September 2017.