I had the honor to participate in an eFTI panel discussion (The EU eFTI Regulation & Digital Logistics – are you ready for the future) in Lisbon ITS European 2023 Congress together with three other panelists: Lia Potec (Policy Officer at the European Commission, DG MOVE), Eva Killar (Executive Officer at Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications) and Alexio Picco (Managing Directors and Member of the Board at Circle Group and Chairman of Magellan Circle) and our professional moderator Kristi Aruküla from the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.
During the panel, we had an opportunity to explain the basic principles and the aim of eFTI regulation and implementation to the audience. We were surprised about the participation since our panel was at 9:00 am after the gala dinner night. My role in the panel was to explain how actors have started to prepare themselves for the eFTI and what kind of preparation projects are now ongoing. In the panel, I was also representing the private side, whose engagement was recognized as a vital part of the successful eFTI implementation, but which at the moment is also one of the most challenging issues.
Our panel discussion worked also as a kick-off for EU eFTI dissemination for a wider audience and hopefully, this work will be now actively continued by Commission, but also in upcoming projects, such as eFTI4EU, READY4eFTI, and FEDeRATED. Of these three projects, two first ones are still pending approval, but in the FEDeRATED project, eFTI has been in our discussions A LOT during the last year, which is very good. And now living lab collaboration is built between beneficiaries to demonstrate future eFTI interoperability. During the panel, I had an opportunity to explain this also to the audience as an example of ongoing actions.
For me, the ITS Congress visit was very short, but it was interesting to see where the ITS world is now. Based on my findings, our 5G ROUTES Horizon Europe project is at the core of ITS, since it seems that automation, 5G, telematics, lidars, and data-driven solutions are hot on the agenda. But compared to other years, there was now a bit more logistics also included, or maybe this was my analysis based on my current interest areas. Anyway, I see that there is still a lot of room to add more logistics to the agenda of ITS and maybe this change is happening during the next few years when the digitalization of logistics is now facing the real transition era – at least I hope it.
From the networking point of view, ITS Lisbon was very good, I met a lot of old contacts, but I also had the opportunity to meet many new interesting contacts and have good discussions. And actually, I see that networking is one of the most important targets of such events. So golden hint for everybody, be active, participate, and do networking.