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Research & Innovation

Turin is a candidate for hosting the Italian hub for urban mobility

5 October 2018

Creating an ecosystem that allows for development, testing and implementation of user-centred urban mobility solutions, for seamless intermodal transport, and improved use of urban areas. This is the aim of the Knowledge Innovation Community U-Move project, a financing proposal under consideration by the European Institute of Technology, which was presented this morning at Politecnico di Torino, head of the initiative for the Southern Europe hub, with its coordinator Ezio Spessa.

The partners in the initiative are the main players – both public and private – in the field: Politecnico di Milano, University of Genoa, Centre for Research and Technology Hellas - CERTH (Greece), Eni, FCA-CRF, Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, IVECO, Swarco Mizar, TIM. The project also involves the cooperation of the Regions of Piedmont and Liguria and the Cities of TurinGenoa and Trento.

This is an ambitious project, which is unique of its kind, and which plans for the creation of an Innovation Hub for Southern Europe coordinated by Politecnico di Torino. This hub will interface with the other hubs in the project planned for other European regions: a consortium of 50 public and private partners from France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Spain and Northern Countries, which will operate synergistically in bringing together and coordinating the best practices of urban mobility in terms of transport for passengers and goods.

Guido Saracco, Rector of Politecnico, pointed to the need to produce results that can be applied directly to production, closer to the market, especially when talking about a field like mobility: “It is in this sector that we are seeing the greatest number of highly innovative projects and the most advanced technology put forward by current research: one of the reasons for that is the current need for companies in this sector to reformulate their aims. For the automotive industry, for example, the issues being studied are connectivity and driverless vehicles, with all associated issues in terms of network coverage, infrastructures etc. It would be great news if, having been successful in achieving the Competence Center of Industry 4.0, Turin could also become a major centre for future mobility: for this City it would mean a change of skin, without a change in its mission, though”. 

Research, education and innovation are the key words of this initiative, which will deal with the main social challenges linked to mobility for people and goods in the urban areas. The approach focuses on the users’ needs (citizens, operators, forwarders, carriers) and offers efficient and effective solutions, but at the same time sustainable ones, paying attention to land consumption, as well as including all the categories of users.

The final aim of this partnership, which unites the main players, whether public or private, in the sector, is to contribute to the economic growth of Europe while reconciling the individual needs of the traveller with those of society as a whole. In this context, a key role has been assigned to the cities and the regions, which play a direct part in the governance of U-MOVE, not restricting their role to that of Living lab, but playing a direct part in the process of innovation and co-creation.

Lastly, U-Move aims to build qualified human capital and continuous updating, to create widespread awareness and a culture of urban mobility to favour innovation. Therefore, the project will include the setting up of courses on a master and doctorate level, but also permanent professional training, especially for the purpose of promoting entrepreneurial activity and creating new start-ups in the sector. A central role will also be reserved for direct involvement of the public in the cycle of innovation, paying special attention to the young, in order to encourage changes in individual behaviour.