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30 Closing Session and Final Remarks Keir Fitch, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium Alasdair Cain, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, D.C., USA Neil Pedersen, Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C., USA Vicki Arroyo, Georgetown University Climate Center, Washington, D.C., USA Thomas Wakeman, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey Rachel Burbidge, Eurocontrol, Brussels, Belgium Thomas Bles, Deltares, Delft, Netherlands, and Conference of European Directors of Roads, Brussels, Belgium Robert Lempert, RAND Corporation, Arlington, Virginia, USA Evangelos Mitsakis, ITS/Hellas Hellenic Institute of Transport, Thessaloniki, Greece Magdalena Kopczynska, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium Kevin Womack, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, D.C., USA sPonsor Comments In this session, representatives from the symposiumâs three sponsors discussed symposium follow-up activities. Comments from the European Commission Keir Fitch Keir Fitch discussed possible follow-up activities to the symposium. He noted that the symposiums have been successful in bringing together researchers and other professionals from both sides of the Atlantic to discuss specific topics and to generate collaborative research opportunities. He described the scope and scale of the European Commission transport research program, which has a budget of approximately â¬6 billion over a 7-year period. The program includes a wide range of research topics from aviation to green vehicles to rail- ways to infrastructure. Fitch described the emphasis on climate change, resil- ience, and sustainability throughout the research pro- grams. He commented that approximately 60% of the research budget was targeted toward projects that will affect sustainability. As a result, he noted that the top- ics discussed at the symposium were very relevant to the European Commission transport research program. He suggested that identifying key research areas, especially those with scopes appropriate for collaboration between the EU and the United States, was beneficial. Fitch described the twinning research process, which has been used to facilitate trans-Atlantic projects. Under this approach, similar projects are undertaken in the United States and Europe in response to a joint call for projects by the appropriate agencies. Funding for researchers on the selected projects is provided by each funding organization, with an amount earmarked to facilitate trans-Atlantic contacts. He suggested that the results from this symposium could be used to identify common trans-Atlantic transport infrastructure resilience research projects that would be appropriate for twinning. Fitch noted that the EU Horizon 2020 has a topic in the work program for 2017 on resilience to extreme events. Researchers in the EU will be proposing on the topic. He suggested that related projects could be devel- oped in the United States and that the twinning process could be used to bring together the selected researchers from the EU and the United States. Fitch reported that the work plan for 2018 through 2020 was being developed and that consideration of the program beyond 2020 was beginning. He noted there
31c l o s i n g s e s s i o n a n d f i n a l r e m a r k s was an extensive effort under way within the research community to examine the longer-term issues and trends in transport research, including climate change, trans- port automation, and big data. A series of strategic papers will be developed to assist in developing the work program for future years (the EUâs Strategic Transport Research and Innovation Agenda). He suggested that it was important to look beyond incremental changes and to focus research on activities that can be done and must be done to provide a secure and sustainable transport system for the decades ahead. He noted that the results from this symposium will be beneficial in developing the 2018 through 2020 work plan and in framing issues for the longer-term program. Comments from the U.S. Department of Transportation Alasdair Cain Alasdair Cain described the research approach at the U.S. DOT and new opportunities for international research collaboration made possible through the Fixing Americaâs Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, passed in December 2015. He noted that the U.S. DOT has nine agencies that fund research activities, all with their own Congressional mandates, missions, budgets, and research programs. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R), U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT), is responsible for coordinat- ing these research portfolios, disseminating information on international research opportunities, and coordinat- ing U.S. DOT agency responses to these opportunities. Cain reported that OST-R will distribute the sympo- sium proceedings and conduct briefings with the agency research project directors. He noted that research topics will be reviewed and opportunities for twinning projects and other activities will be discussed. He reported that briefings will also be conducted with the U.S. DOTâs Center for Climate Change and Environmental Forecast- ing (CCCEF), which is a U.S. DOT interagency group. CCCEF conducts multiagency-funded projects on topics related to climate change adaptation and mitigation. Cain reviewed key elements of the FAST Act, which establishes funding levels and program guidance for the next 5 years. He noted that this 5-year period aligns well with the remainder of Horizon 2020, which means this period offers an unprecedented opportunity for sustained EUâU.S. research collaboration. He further noted that the U.S. DOT is developing a strategic plan, as required by the FAST Act, which is due to Congress by the end of 2016. The strategic plan will be used to set U.S. DOTâs research agenda and priorities over the next 5 years. He commented that one of the overarching themes in the strategic plan is transportation impacts on the social and natural environment, which relates to the climate change mitigation strategies discussed during the symposium. Another key priority for the U.S. government, one that is specified in the FAST Act, is preserving critical infra- structure. This topic aligns directly with the discussion of climate change adaptation strategies. He noted that the U.S. DOT has an adaptation policy, but not a mitigation policy. As noted in the symposium, the transportation sector is a major contributor to GHG emissions. In rec- ognition of this, the CCCEF is working to develop a U.S. DOT climate change mitigation policy. Cain commented that the timing of the symposium was advantageous for providing input to the U.S. DOT strategic plan, which will provide guidance to the modal agencies. He also discussed possible twinning opportuni- ties, noting that the 2016â2017 European Commission program identifies 11 topic areas for potential twinning projects. He reported that the U.S. DOT was examin- ing these topics for possible matching projects in the United States. Priority twinning topics include resilience to extreme (natural and human-made) events as well as intelligent transportation systems, automation, and safety. He suggested that there may be opportunities for twinning with some of the recent topics identified in the breakout groups and to contact him if any of the attend- ees were interested in pursuing such opportunities. Comments from the Transportation Research Board Neil Pedersen Neil Pedersen discussed anticipated Transportation Research Board (TRB) follow-up activities. He noted that TRB and the U.S. DOT coordinate and cooperate on research, but that the TRB research program is inde- pendent of the U.S. DOT program. The TRB research program is oriented toward the needs of the transpor- tation system operators, including state departments of transportation, transit agencies, airport authorities, ports, and other agencies. Pedersen reviewed some of the activities TRB will undertake to build on the symposium, which will lead directly and indirectly to research. He reported that resilience was one of three major issues identified by the TRB Executive Committee. A task force of the Execu- tive Committee is examining the role TRB can play in addressing the topic of resilience, possible research, and technology transfer activities. He noted that the sym- posium results will provide an excellent basis for the work of the task force. Pedersen commented that Vicki Arroyo and Katie Turnbull, who are members of the Executive Committee, would provide a summary of the