The 9th ITS Hellas Conference ‘Transportation & Logistics 2024: Explore. Innovate. Transform’ was conducted successfully

The 9th annual conference of ITS Hellas, the Organization for Intelligent Transportation Systems in Greece, successfully concluded its sessions. Once again, it brought together policy, innovation, research, and entrepreneurship, fostering a dialogue that addressed the significant issues surrounding the digital transformation of transportation and logistics in Greece today.

With a vision for a future where all transportation of people and goods will be intelligent, green, and sustainable, the 9th ITS Hellas Conference, organized by ITS Hellas (Hellenic Organization for Intelligent Transportation Systems) and hosted by I-SENSE research group of the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems/National Technical University of Athens (ICCS/NTUA), took place successfully on June 5th and 6th at the Royal Olympic Hotel in Athens. It gathered over 100 participants and 20 speakers, including the Greek Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Christos Staikouras, the Minister of Digital Governance Dimitris Papastergiou, the Secretary General for Research and Innovation Prof. Athanasios Kyriazis, the Secretary General for Transport Ioannis Xifaras, the Mayor of Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni, Grigoris Konstantellos, among others.

In his official address, the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Mr. Christos Staikouras, expressed the political leadership’s commitment to strengthen policies promoting intelligent transportation systems and to design the future with an eye on new technologies that will play a decisive role in the country’s developmental trajectory. The Minister of Digital Governance, Mr. Dimitris Papastergiou, emphasized the role of partnerships between the two ministries, noting that the effort is collective. He presented related actions by the Ministry of Digital Governance that are changing the landscape, focusing on data and system interoperability, and promising a digital future for Greek transportation. “At the core of everything we discuss and plan lies research and innovation,” highlighted Prof. Athanasios Kyriazis, Secretary General for Research and Innovation (GGEK), providing valuable insights into Greece’s performance.

The conference was introduced by Dr. Georgia Ayfantopoulou, President of ITS Hellas, Director of Research, Deputy Director of CERTH/HIT, and Dr. Angelos Amditis, Vice President of ITS Hellas, President of ERTICO-ITS Europe, Director of Research & Development at ICCS/NTUA. “It is essential for society to develop the conditions necessary for promoting Greek technological solutions aimed at achieving maximum efficiency in transportation and logistics. ITS will find themselves in a new operational environment and opportunities, becoming part of a complex process and part of solutions that contribute to accelerating the transition to climate neutrality. The interoperability of technical solutions and our  ability and readiness to integrate new technologies (artificial intelligence) will be key factors in deciding competitiveness” explained Dr. Ayfantopoulou.

“The developments themselves show that integrating new technologies in transportation is now an imperative and not a choice. However, it is a complex process involving many stakeholders, both public and private. Beyond technology and its maturity, an array of  factors will determine success: Political will, long-term and effective planning, timely action, private initiative, and collective vision are just some of the essential components. This year’s ITS Hellas conference aims precisely at bringing all these elements together to enable Exploration-Innovation-Transformation and highlight ITS Hellas’s role in this process,” noted Mr. Amditis, welcoming the audience to the two-day event.

The first day focused on the  transportation sector. Representatives from local administration and European organizations and schemes presented the broader framework, aspects of European strategies, international developments, and priorities for Greece. Representatives of major construction and technology companies discussed on their efforts to integrate intelligent systems as part of the infrastructure. Particularly interesting was the session on urban mobility, which included participation from Ioannis Xifaras, Secretary General for Transport, and Grigoris Konstantellos, Mayor of Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni, as well as representatives from local government, academia, and business.

The second day of the conference focused on the digital transformation of the supply chain, with extensive presentations on how Greek businesses are striving daily to embrace technological changes and how Greek research can generate innovation. The discussion focused on the challenges faced by the business environment in the logistics sector regarding the implementation of eCMR & EFTi protocols and broader trends and policies expected to drive the sector’s transformation in Greece in the coming years was lively.

“These two days managed to breathe life into our shared vision of a sustainable, green, and connected transportation system for our country. This is an important goal that ITS Hellas could not achieve without the valuable contribution of its members and the broader ecosystem of transportation and logistics in Greece” notes Dr Angelos Amditis. “Cultivating a collaborative culture and strengthening structures and formations like ITS Hellas that involve diverse stakeholders with a common vision, supporting partnerships and knowledge exchange, are essential for our country to integrate technology and generate innovation in transportation and logistics,” noted Ms. Ayfantopoulou, closing the conference and inviting the Greek business, research, and academic community to learn about the benefits of joining ITS Hellas.

Paraller to the conference, in the mini Technologic Exhibition, visitors and speakers could learn about cutting-edge technologies, domestic initiatives, pilot research projects, and innovative actions developed today by ITS Hellas members.  The gold sponsors were CERTH/HIT, Deeptraffic, and the I-SENSE Group of ICCS. Also, the conference received sponsorship support from leading companies in the field: Anytime, SmartNav Yunex Traffic iLink, Hellastron. Media sponsors were metaforespress.gr and T-PRESS.

The 9th ITS Hellas conference was organized on behalf of ITS Hellas by the I-SENSE Group of the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS) of the National Technical University of Athens. This year’s conference was also held under the auspices of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, the Ministry of Digital Governance, and the General Secretariat for Research and Innovation.

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