The importance of TRA for DG MOVE of the European Commission

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) works in concert with the European Union Member States, European industry, citizens and stakeholders to promote a mobility that is efficient, safe, secure and environmentally friendly and create the conditions for a competitive industry generating growth and jobs. The issues and challenges connected to this require action at European or even international level; no national government can address them successfully alone. We spoke with Herald Ruijters, Director for Investment, Innovative and Sustainable Transport at DG MOVE, about the Transport Research Arena 2018 (TRA 2018) in Vienna.


What was your first TRA experience?

The European Commission has been a keen supporter of the TRA since its inception in 2006. For me, it will be my first time attending the event, and I am very excited to witness personally the unique character of this ‘Arena’.


From your point of view, what makes TRA 2018 special?

TRA is the largest European event focussing on transport research, and the only event in Europe covering all modes of transport, and their interconnecting activities (such as logistics, urban mobility and multimodal traffic management).

This variety – gathering industry, academia, researchers, policy-makers and users from all modes of transport under one roof – gives the opportunity for attendees to talk not only with his/her peers – the usual constituency he/she is used to work with – but to enlarge the dialogue with other actors who are not easily reachable in daily work.


What do you expect from TRA 2018?

When it was first founded in 2006, TRA focussed on road transport and was originally supported by the EC, CEDR and ERTRAC. From the start, the concept to bring together problem-owners and solution-providers was very clear in the mind of the founders. Over the years – the 2018 event will be the 7th TRA – this feature has evolved in line with the EU R&I policy and today we can really talk about an “arena” where innovative ideas and solutions are presented to potential implementers; where new academic curricula can be confronted with concrete industrial needs for new professional profiles; where R&I management and governance can be discussed with policy-makers.

This latter aspect will be even more important during TRA 2018 that will take place against a backdrop of drafting the next EU R&I Framework Programme. The direct dialogue with all major stakeholders will be a valuable component to complement the institutional consultations that the European Commission will carry out. TRA 2018 will be a forum where the European Commission can hear what stakeholders want the next Framework Programme to look like on transport research.


What does “A Digital Era for Transport” mean to you?

The motto of TRA 2018 is “A Digital Era for Transport”: this is, in itself, a look into the future. A future not far away, for which we need to prepare ourselves and anticipate the provision of instruments able to respond to new, unknown challenges. That is why I invite everyone to join me at TRA 2018 in Vienna and benefit from the unique opportunities offered there.

Herald Ruijters, Director for Investment, Innovative and Sustainable Transport at DG MOVE.


Get more information and follow EC DG Move on:
DG MOVE website
DG MOVE Twitter


Last updated : 15/12/2017