8th/9th November 2010 - EUCAR Conference takes place in Autoworld, Brussels, in the presence of Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice President for the Digital Agenda
On 8th and 9th November over two hundred stakeholders from the European Commission, governmental institutions, automotive suppliers, research providers and universities convened at the Autoworld in Brussels at the annual EUCAR Reception and Conference.
As the VIP speaker at the Reception on 8th November, European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes presented her vision for the Digital Agenda, whose goal is using ICT to improve daily life, focusing on its application to the automotive sector. “There can be few better places to start than with mobility and the ICT ecosystem that supports it,” said Kroes. She also highlighted the important role of cooperation between stakeholders. “EUCAR's partnership model has played a long-standing role – and the EU can play an important role, too,” said Kroes. “We need the automotive and ICT communities side-by-side.”
In his opening address, EUCAR Chairman Dr. Marc Duval-Destin, PSA Peugeot Citroën Vice President for Research & Advanced Engineering, highlighted the complexity of automotive R&D, in which close cooperation between stakeholders and with the European Commission is essential. He underlined how the European automotive industry has worked in partnership to build an R&D platform for innovation in greener and safer vehicles, concepts to enhance future mobility and competitiveness in the global market.
At the Conference on 9th November, Dr. Duval-Destin reiterated EUCAR’s view that R&D in transport to should focus on sustainable mobility as one of the Grand Societal Challenges. EU R&D programmes should include a dedicated automotive R&D initiative, with resources devoted to meeting the sector’s societal demands of mobility, transport, environment, energy efficiency and competitiveness.
Three technical sessions were staged during the conference to highlight ongoing collaborative projects. On the subject of Mobility & Transport, the projects eCoMove and City Move/CityLog were presented, demonstrating how new mobility systems are being researched to improve system efficiency and competitiveness for moving both people and goods.
In the session on Integrated Safety, the INTERSAFE-2 demonstrated ongoing work to avoid accidents at intersections using cooperative systems. The HAVE-IT project is investigating different levels of autonomy of vehicles to improve safety, congestion and efficiency.
Two projects were presented in the area of In Fuels and Powertrain. InGas is studying integrated natural gas engines to improve efficiency. In the HySYS project, components for hybrid fuel cell vehicles are under investigation, to improve the costs and efficiency of these vehicles.
The final session was a panel discussion on Clean and Energy Efficient Vehicles, featuring representatives of the European Commission, automotive suppliers, the energy industry and automotive manufacturers. They highlighted that a number of vehicle technologies will be needed to ensure sustainable mobility of people and goods, including continued development of internal combustion engines, further electrification of the vehicle and low carbon biofuels.
As the final act of the Conference, a brief ceremony took place to mark the handing over of the EUCAR Chairmanship from Dr Duval Destin of PSA Peugeot Citroën to the 2011 Chairman Pim van der Jagt of Ford of Europe. Mr van der Jagt presented EUCAR’s priorities for 2011, which will include continued work to identify R&D needs and support of collaborative projects in the main technical domains as well as looking forward to the future Research Framework Programmes.
On leaving the Conference, guests were provided with a copy of EUCAR’s 2010-2011 Project Book, which includes a description of all ongoing EUCAR projects.