On 21 May 2019, the 2nd i4Df Stakeholder Conference took place at the conference center The Square in Brussels. The event was attended by over 30 high level representatives from public infrastructure authorities, innovation programme owners, industrial lead suppliers and research providers. The participants were consulted on their guidance for structures and principles to be included in the i4Df coordination mechanism.
In the morning plenary session Mr. Adrian Mazur from the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure welcomed the audience and outlined the basic concept, that the coordination mechanism would be centered around national transport infrastructure authorities voluntarily joining forces, building from common needs and interests from their national innovation programmes and structures, seeking practical opportunities at the European level. It was followed by a key note speech by Mr. Herald Ruijters from the European Commission DG MOVE. Mr. Ruijters outlined the Commission’s approach to innovation delivery chain (research-deployment-market uptake) and how the respective stages could be supported by its programmes (respectively: Horizon Europe, Connecting Europe Facility, and banking structures such as EIB/EFSI). The morning plenary session was concluded by Mr. Ruud Smit from the Dutch Rijkswaterstaat Agency who presented the backdrop for the successive stakeholder discussion sessions. In four parallel break-out sessions, and under the guidance of moderators and rapporteurs, the attending stakeholders vividly discussed a set of 3 questions about the workings of the coordination mechanism. Over a network lunch, the participants had the opportunity to replenish their spent energy in the break-out sessions and discuss further.
The 2nd i4Df Stakeholder Conference was concluded with a brief wrap-up session, in which Mr. Mazur invited the four moderators to provide key findings from their respective discussion groups. Mr. Peter Wilbers from Rijkswaterstaat and Coordinator of the i4Df initiative finally gave a brief overview of the next steps. After compilation and basic editing, each of the participants will be sent a summary of the outcomes of the discussions.