The i4Df Outreach Southern Event, the last of a series of four Regional Outreach Events, was successfully held in Thessaloniki, Greece at the CERTH/HIT premises on 5 and 6 November 2019.
High level experts from Greece, Italy, Israel, Romania, Serbia, Kosovo along with i4Df initiative partners attended the event and presented their (national) vision for 2040 infrastructure development and operation.
The day was kicked off by Dr. Evangelos Bekiaris, director of CERTH / HIT, with a welcome speech to the participants and a presentation about the Hellenic Institute of Transport. Following, Mr. Peter Wilbers from Rijkswaterstaat (the Netherlands), coordinator of the i4Df initiative and Ms. Ursula Blume from BASt (Germany), i4Df Work Package leader, presented an overview of i4Df along with the initiative’s developments and findings so far, highlighting the importance of multimodal collaboration on infrastructure innovation and implementation.
Representatives from the Southern Countries presented their vision of the transport infrastructure, focusing on their country’s infrastructure capabilities, developments and potentials and sharing their perspectives on the future of multimodal coordination of infrastructure innovation and implementation. More specifically, Mr. Sotirios Theofanis, chairman of the Board of Directors (BoD) and Managing Director of Thessaloniki Port Authority (ThPA), introduced the development of a multimodal network in Northern Greece – connecting Western Balkan and SE European countries to the Port of Thessaloniki.
Prof. Anastasios Mouratidis (AUTh, Greece) focused on the need for improvement of safety, serviceability and resilience of roads using innovative technologies, tackling the innovation and its implementation on Greek motorways.
Dr. Rolando Pizziconi (ANAS SPA, Italy) highlighted the necessity of intelligent transportation infrastructure development and updating, focusing on smart roads, the upgraded use of smart phones and the vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to infrastructure connectivity.
Finally, Mr. Adi Gamliel (Netivei, Israel) presented the Corporate Sustainability Report and related activities of Netivei, including successful examples of 2017-2021 and highlighting the green standards for transport infrastructure and circular economy.
All of the first day presentations and contributions highlighted the prevailing role of resilience and sustainability on infrastructure development and operation, as well as the establishment and promotion of seamless and continuous communication, networking, collaboration, knowledge transfer and best practice sharing amongst involved stakeholders with vision year 2040. This core message was the trigger for the opening of the second day by Mr. Richard van der Elburg, co-manager of i4Df.
The second day started with a presentation of Ms. Patricia Belluci (ANAS SPA, Italy), introducing the staged gate review process as a facilitating tool for multimodal coordination of infrastructure innovation and implementation.
In the context of the same day, Mr. Constantin Zbarnea (CNAIR, Romania), presented the Romanian road network commenting on objectives and challenges, followed by Mr. Ilija Neden Dimitriou (PE Roads of Serbia) who presented the basic services for road customers on state road network of the Republic of Serbia, referring to the future prospects and vision. Mr. Begaj Ardian (Ministry of Infrastructure, Kossovo) presented the development of roads and railway network of the Republic of Kosovo highlighting the need for further development of road and railway network and respective ITS services in the Republic of Kossovo within the next decade.
Finally, the event closed with experts’ and project partners’ participation in three interactive parallel sessions that provided valuable feedback towards the envisaged i4Df coordination mechanism. The event participants took part in structured dialogues determining and ranking the regional specifications of Innovation Focus Areas (IFAs), reflecting their expectations on future functionalities of the European multimodal transport infrastructure network.