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VIII Symposium on Urban Mobility Challenges – Public Private Partnerships in Urban Mobility to Accelerate Innovation

VIII Symposium on Urban Mobility Challenges – Public Private Partnerships in Urban Mobility to Accelerate Innovation

CARNET organised the VIII Symposium on Urban Mobility Challenges, held on 14 November at the Campus Nord of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC). The event brought together international experts from the industrial sector and the academic world, who talked about Public-Private Partnerships in Urban Mobility to Accelerate Innovation. The speakers discussed how the pandemic is accelerating the digitalization of many sectors and areas and how digital twins can help improve mobility and transportation.

The opening session was conducted by the three founding partners of CARNET: Prof. DrLluís Jofre Roca, Academic Director of CARNET from UPC; Alexander Siebeneich, Industrial Director of CARNET from Volkswagen Group Innovation, and Anna Homs, Creative and Strategic Director of CARNET from SEAT S.A.. It was highlighted how CARNET has grown so fast in recent years, having more than twenty industrial and academic partners. It was also mentioned how our goal towards the future is to develop an innovation center in Barcelona to further innovate within the sector. Dr. Mateo Valero, the Director of Barcelona Supercomputing Center, introduced this year’s edition with a keynote about mobility knowledge and the future hidden in data. He also talked about the role of digital twins and how they can be crucial within urban mobility to improve cities’ health.

Led by moderators, each roundtable focused on specific topics within the urban mobility spectrum, which included: How to implement innovation in the city, how startups can be part of the industrial value chain and how to deal with mobility data and digital twins. A key insight was provided by Mikel Lasa, Iberia CEO at EIT InnoEnergy: “for the industry to be efficient in the collaboration with startups it is important to set clearly its objectives. Secondly, it is important that high-level management levels take these topics as important. Thirdly, companies need to be efficient in terms of collaborating with other institutions”.

After the three roundtables, Jordi Liarte Pérez, Head of Sales AA.PP. at Telefónica, and Dr. Climent Molins Borrell, Vice Chancellor of Transfer, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship; closed the Symposium, which was a success with over a hundred face-to-face and online assistants along the entire session, and it provided a good opportunity for networking as the event shared a coffee break with the Low Emissions Zones course, organized by CARNET as well.

The event turned out to be an opportunity to learn first-hand where the automotive sector is going and what tools available for us to use to get there. We are honoured to be able to count on the presence of key speakers from the field, who inspire us to keep working to develop future mobility. Our team at CARNET will continue operating towards that goal with projects such as the deployment of new pilots to test our last-mile delivery robot, Ona, and our Autonomous Driving Challenge competition will come back in 2023, this time traveling to a new European country.