On 13 October, ERF and AVTODOR (Russian Highways) organised a half day seminar whose aim was to exchange knowhow on new technologies and explore the appropriate legal frameworks that could enable a greater uptake of innovative solutions in the road sector.
This technical conference was held within the context of the DOROGA Expo which represents the main annual event for the road infrastructure industry in Russia, gathering more than 5000 participants. The event was officially opened by the Minister of Transport Maksim Sokolov together with AVTODOR Chairman Sergei Kelbakh.
In the words of Christophe Nicodème, Director General of the European Union Road Federation, “sharing European knowledge and experiences with AVTODOR experts represent an opportunity to discuss innovative solutions, ensure road infrastructure safety management and deploy smart solutions to improve mobility for citizens in both regions”.
The second edition of the ERF-AVTODOR joint seminar was split into two strategic sessions. The first session was dedicated to the topic of ‘Boosting innovation in road construction and management’ and featured speakers from the EU and the Russian Federation. Given that billions of euros are spent every year on road construction maintenance, public procurement can be powerful tool that can help authorities choose the most cost-effective solutions, provide better incentives for company innovation and, most importantly, provide the best-value for money to taxpayers in terms of road safety.
In this sense, the new Directive 2014/24 at European level definitely represents a step forward given that it seeks to move away from the cheapest price model and encourage authorities to consider other elements such a lifecycle and environmental externalities. For this to become a reality, however, a stronger cooperation between public authorities and industry is needed in order to arrive at a common framework of how the provision of the new Directive should apply to the road sector. In addition to exploring the role of public procurement as a vector for innovation, the session also touched upon other topics such as integrative ITS systems for motorways and how new technologies can enable road data collection, auditing at high speed.
The second session, held under the title ‘Adapting road elements to future challenges’, featured a series of presentations by ERF members who showcased innovative developments for road infrastructure elements. In the field of passive safety, the session touched upon the new enhanced role that numerical simulations will have in predicting road safety equipment behaviour, the importance of emergency openings on motorways in case of accidents and how innovative end-terminals can play a double function by also acting as a crash cushion. With respect to active safety, the session featured two presentations on best practice with respect to traffic signs and road safety as well as how new technologies can optimise retro-reflectivity under difficult traffic conditions.
The dedicated joint-seminar, which was attended by around 150 road experts from public administration and industry, was jointly moderated by Igor Urmanov, Member of the Board of State Company Russian Highways, Christophe Nicodème, Director General of the European Union Road Federation and Nikolay Bystrov, Director General of Avtodor – Engineering with a plea to continue the promising technical cooperation in the coming years.
Find the Agenda of the Seminar here.
First Session: Boosting innovation in road construction and management
6. Integrative ITS Systems in Motorways – Katya Kusmina (RU) | SWARCO Russia
Second Session: Boosting innovation in road construction and management
1. The use of numerical simulation to predict roadside safety equipment behavior – Joseph Marra (EN) | GDTech
2. Optimized retro-reflectivity performance for traffic signs with constant brightness under difficult traffic conditions – Jürgen Ewald (EN) | ORAFOL
3. Novel technologies for Traffic Sign production and Best Practices related to Road Safety – Boris Nekrasov (EN) (RU) | 3M Russia
4. Solutions for emergency openings on highways – Liliane Krafczyk (EN) Solutions for emergency openings on highways – Liliane Krafczyk (EN) | V&R
5. Crashworthy end terminal able to work like a crash cushion according to EN 1317 – Luigi Grassia (EN) | AMS