I was fortunate to be invited to participate in a symposium between the European Union and the United States on improving the adoption and use of transportation research globally. The meeting included both public transportation and highways and roads organizations, and included members of agencies, universities, and private companies from all perspectives in the transportation industry.
Highlights included a presentation by Natalia de Estevan from Transport for London
on implementing the results of their Research and Development (R&D) efforts in an urban setting (“people don’t just experience our service, they feel it
“), Chris Martin from Bosch
talking about Vehicle to Infrastructure communications, and a cool discussion of electric vehicle charging using energy from regenerative braking of trains by Luiz Lopez Ruiz from Spain’s Administrator of Railway Infrastructure (adif.es
There were also presentations by the Conference of European Directors of Roads (CEDR
), the University of Maryland, MBTA, and others. Of special concern for the symposium participants was the question of why other government-funded and sponsored research more successfully reaches adoption while transportation entities are far slower to adopt the results of research. For example, research related to space, health sciences, and education all have proceeded to adoption and commercialization. Unfortunately, transportation research significantly lags behind these other industries.
Members of the symposium identified a number of contributors to this dynamic, including the smaller pool of funding, that transportation infrastructure in many ways is invisible and not engaging for the public, and the life cycle of the infrastructure and process does not lend to quick adoption of innovation.
Today the ecology.IT team renewed our commitment to 1% for the Planet by donating 1% of our annual profit to member nonprofit ecotrust.org. This organization’s mission is “to inspire fresh thinking that creates economic opportunity, social equity, and environmental wellbeing. Our goal is to foster a natural model of development that creates more resilient communities, economies, and ecosystems here and around the world.”
This organization views itself as a “social incubator,” by funding and fostering innovation and opportunity through technology and process changes like climate-smart mapping tools, FoodHub, and whole watershed restoration. We are excited and pleased to be associated both with the 1% for the Planet initiative and to fund work through ecotrust.org.