What will TRA 2008 do for me?
TRA 2008 is for all road transport stakeholders
Part of a series of major EU-sponsored events on road transport, Transport Research Arena (TRA) 2008 will focus on sustainability, safety and efficiency, providing a meeting place for all relevant communities with a stake in road transport, including policy-makers, industry, and research.
“TRA 2008 will be a golden opportunity for EU road transport stakeholders and researchers,” says EU Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik, “to discuss new strategies, completing the process of creating a true European Road Transport Research Arena.”
© Peter Gutierrez
TRA for industry
European industry has been quick to take advantage of the freedom and flexibility offered by road transport. Liberalisation of road freight, combined with the opening of markets in Central and Eastern Europe, has led to a steady increase in road traffic compared to other modes. Moreover, European commerce is increasingly leaning towards electronic transactions followed by rapid delivery. Here, road transport offers greater flexibility, at least over short and medium delivery distances, than do rail and waterways.
TRA for research
TRA 2008 will promote the strategic alignment of road transport research, bringing together all European stakeholders around a shared Strategic Research Agenda. Among other things, this means combining and coordinating European, national, regional and private research actions, improving networking, and pooling research and development capacities.
TRA for policy-makers
In its Green Paper on the Security of Energy Supply, the European Commission sounded the alarm on Europe's dependency on imported fossil fuels, a third of which are used by transport. As a signatory to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, it has committed itself to reduce emissions of six greenhouse gases by 2008-2012. However, if current trends continue, emissions will instead go up, mainly due to road traffic.
Efficient mobility is also a key issue for policy-makers. Enabling the free movement of people and goods is crucial to economic prosperity and quality of life.
The TRA 2008 conference will be a major opportunity for EU policy-makers to move Europe towards better road transport. Strong Commission support for this meeting reflects the importance of this sector within the larger European agenda.
TRA 2008 will promote the alignment and coordination of European, national, regional and private research actions, fostering international and cross-sectoral networking and encouraging the clustering of European research and development capacity around a shared Strategic Research Agenda (SRA).
Conference parallel thematic sessions will be based on the following six pillars: the first pillar will focus on current and forthcoming European research activities and programmes; pillars 2-5 correspond to the specified research areas of ERTRAC's SRA; and an additional pillar will address cross-cutting issues that address more than one of the SRA research areas.
Plenary sessions, featuring high-level personalities invited keynote speakers, will cover topics that are of strategic importance for fulfilling the SRA objectives.
At the TRA 2008 exhibition, conference participants will get information on the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7) as well as other action plans and initiatives, and see the work of a variety of EU-funded projects that are making major strides towards better road transport.
Technical excursions and social programme
The weeklong TRA 2008 conference will feature a number of technical visits and other events showcasing some of Slovenia’s major road transport facilities and projects, and cultural highlights. © Peter Gutierrez