The UK’s trade body for Intelligent Transport Systems, ITS (UK) is opening doors for its members to work with companies from Finland and Estonia.
The organisation took part in a three-way online trade delegation meeting which involved it meeting with transport technology-related companies from the two countries to begin the process of introducing them to potential British partners.
Some 40 companies took part in the event which also included ministerial addresses from the three countries’ governments and a debate.
Finnish Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari emphasised the importance of innovation and courage to take on new business opportunities and combat climate change while Eva-Maria Liimets, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia commented that the economic recovery from Covid has offered us a possibility to speed up the process of green transition saying, “Although Governments have a role in setting up the preconditions for green transition, the private sector is vital in implementing the change.”
For the UK, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport Rachel Mclean MP, highlighted the significance of technological advances. She said these allow people to travel further and faster than ever before and pledged that the UK will continue to promote the future potential of ITS – creating more innovative and efficient technology, improving transport safety and tackling climate change.
Within the debate, ideas were shared about how public and private organisations can work together, how important it is that the ITS and energy sectors work closely together and how technical innovations must go hand-in-hand with behaviour change if environmental targets are to be met. Sticking with the environmental theme, ITS (UK) President Steve Norris closed the open part of the meeting by commenting that addressing the environmental impacts of transport may look like an additional cost, but that we should be asking ourselves at the same time what the cost will be of not addressing these impacts.
Businesses praised the one-to-one sessions, with Kempower Oy of Finland calling the event, “an excellent example of how innovative and flexible organisations arrange new ways of setting up the frames and prerequisites for different actors in the Smart Mobility” while Bercman Technologies of Estonia described it as “a breath of fresh air” and in the UK Arup commenting on how the scale of innovation in Estonian and Finnish smart ports sector was impressive.
“As the world’s oldest national ITS Association, we are used to working with our counterparts across the world, but this online trade mission was something new even for us, and was a great success,” commented ITS (UK) Secretary General Jennie Martin. “The seeds we planted at that meeting might not lead to high-value business relationships in 2021, but I believe that in ten years’ time we will be able to look at some highly successful partnerships and point to this meeting as the event where the relationships were made.”
You can read a full summary of the meeting and watch the ministerial addresses and the debate here and watch the recording here.
(Picture – ITS (UK))