[Skip to Content]

International Transport Forum (ITF) Pre-Summit Research Day
Transport Connectivity for Regional Integration

21 May 2019, Leipzig, Germany


Call for Abstracts

The International Transport Forum (ITF), together with European Conference of Transport Research Institutes (ECTRI), the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and the World Conference on Transport Research Society (WCTRS), are pleased to announce and convene a Research Day on Transport Connectivity for Regional Integration. This Research Day will be held in Leipzig, Germany on Tuesday 21 May 2019, in conjunction with the International Transport Forum’s 2019 Annual Summit (22- 24 May 2019). 

The objective of the ITF Pre-Summit Research Day is to bring together top academics, researchers, and practitioners to present and discuss topics relevant to the Summit’s theme, providing highly valued input to the Summit’s core programme.

It is critically important that research results are brought into practice, especially considering the pace with which our transport system is currently evolving. The Research Day offers a great opportunity to exchange ideas not only between researchers, but also with representatives from governments, cities, and other decision makers. 

While the 2019 ITF Summit on Transport Connectivity for Regional Integration will discuss connectivity in all of its dimensions (physical, institutional, digital, modal, operational) and will cut across individual/passenger travel and freight logistics, and supply chains. The Research Day will have a limited scope to specific topics. In particular, in order to plan their actions and investments for the coming years, policy makers need the input from researchers to provide knowledge and solutions on how to:

  • Enhance regional integration through better air connectivity;
  • Improve freight and logistics management;
  • Harness the potential of transport innovation for better connectivity;
  • Ensure that connectivity solutions are sustainable and equitable.

Submission of abstracts
We invite the submission of abstracts of up to 1000 words that address Transport Connectivity for Regional Integration. Specific sessions will focus on:

  • Air connectivity;
  • Freight and logistics;
  • Innovation and new mobility services;
  • Sustainable transport solutions.

Abstracts must be submitted by Thursday 14 March 2019 11pm (GMT)


The work can be quantitative or qualitative and come from any of the academic fields linked to transport. Abstracts must include a title, as well as presenter’s name, affiliation and contact details. Please also include details of any project websites and mention one or more of the four topic areas connected to the research outlined in the abstract (see template).

Given the overall goal of fostering research-policy linkages, abstracts should clearly reflect how the presented research can be used to inform policy development and implementation.

Selected authors will be invited to present their research at the Pre-Summit Research Day. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of the selection process on 29 March 2019.

Practical Information
The Research Day will take place on Tuesday 21 May 2019, one day prior to the official opening of the ITF Summit. It will be held at the Leipziger Messe, Leipzig.

Participants of the Research Day can make use of a special registration fee of 450 Euros that covers attendance at both the Research Day and the subsequent three summit days.

The fee covers meals (lunches and dinners, except for the evening of 21 May) and transport during Summit days (22, 23, 24 May and airport transfer). It is not possible to register just for the Research Day.

Registration and venue information are available on the website.

Participants making presentations will receive a complementary pass for the Research Day and Summit.


More information on the ITF 2019 Summit can be found at: http://2019.itf-oecd.org



Transport constitutes a necessary element of regional integration. High-quality, well-developed and safe transport networks foster and facilitate trade flows and individual mobility among regions. Transport also enhances access to employment, education and other public services, thereby raising productivity and promoting economic and social development. Better transport connectivity can evidently help integrate regions – from local communities and cities to global regions – and enable the achievement of economic, social and environmental goals. But how can governments ensure that transport connectivity stimulates development and economic activity, while engaging with communities and being sensitive to the environment? In this respect, several issues would benefit from discussions at the Research Day:

  • Air connectivity: Increasingly, governments recognise that air connectivity plays a crucial role in enhancing economic growth by facilitating tourism and inward foreign direct investment, as well as by supporting the trade of goods and services. By facilitating the movements of goods and services, people, ideas, knowledge and investment, air connectivity supports a country’s integration into the global economy. Thus, air connectivity can play an important role in fostering local economic development and supporting national long-term economic growth objectives. Due to these positive impacts, governments should understand what are the costs and benefits of government intervention in the market for regional air connectivity and how to foster better air connectivity outcomes.
  • Freight and logistics: Transport connectivity is essential for the emergence and expansion of global value chains. Logistics will become an increasingly key issue in maintaining sustainable regions and providers will have to be proactive, developing intelligent options. Many research initiatives have already underlined the most pertinent questions: finding solutions that optimise freight flows and that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, noise and congestion from freight traffic. Shifts in a global distribution of economic activities have raised additional questions related to the effects of trade flows changes on supply chains. What do these changes mean for international transport, logistics and supply chains? What are the implications for the environment?
  • Innovation and new mobility services: Technological advancements, including automation and digitalization, provide opportunities to make seamless transport connections a reality. Mobility as a service (MaaS) provides transport users with the freedom to travel the way they desire by offering choices and enhancing connectivity. However, to maximise its benefits, there needs to be a well-planned and collaborative approach. What kind of regulation would be necessary to accompany the development of new mobility services - allowing them to deliver efficiency gains, consumer and other benefits and mitigate potential negative impacts? What is the size of economic externalities and what should be done? How can new mobility services complement conventional public transport services with improvements in service quality and cost reductions?
  • Sustainable transport solutions: There are many facets to the impact on the environment of transport-related activities and infrastructure. Air pollution, accidents and noise are some of the many adverse impacts associated with the transport sector. Thus, governments need to think about the contribution of sustainable, low-carbon and energy efficient modes of transport for the efficient movement of people and goods. What’s more, policy makers need to ensure that integrated planning solutions and new environmentally sound technologies are consistent with sustainable development goals, and that they contribute to social and economic inclusion, as well as to improvements in overall well-being.