EU Industry Day





Brussels – February 28, 2017

CONEBI attended the first-ever EU Industry Day organised by the European Commission at the Charlemagne building in Brussels to discuss the state of the art of the European Industry and its future challenges with the relevant stakeholders.
The EU Industry is undergoing a rapid change, which will have a lasting impact at several levels. Technological developments and an evolving global context are generating new products and services, and new types of business models for delivering them. The challenge of the European Commission is to provide the appropriate framework in which the Industry can flourish focusing on flexibility, sustainability and innovation.
The European Commission is committed to take strong actions to address key challenges, among which the issues of access to finance and digitalisation, skills development and supportive regulations. Moreover, in terms of funding opportunities, the European Union mobilises more than 740 billion Euros in investments through several programmes:

Investment plan
Removing obstacles to investments, providing visibility and technical assistance to projects. The Commission states that the plan is deploying investments for more than 315 billion Euro over three years.
The EU research and innovation programme with nearly 80 billion Euros of funding available from 2014 to 2020 to bring ideas from the lab to the market.
The EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises will run until 2020 with a budget of over 2 billion Euros.
European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF)
ESIF is worth over 350 billion Euros and composed by several specific funds like the European regional development fund, the European social fund and the Cohesion fund.

Nevertheless, in December 2016 EU Member States and the European Parliament clearly stated their full support for a strong European Industrial strategy – which at the moment is missing – via the European Council conclusions, calling to strengthen the EU’s Industrial base. For this reason, CONEBI and 124 other EU Industrial associations have written a Joint Declaration in February, asking the European Commission to work together on a concrete action plan that would allow the EU Industry to compete at the same level with the “Made in India”, “China 2025” and “America First” strategies.

The Joint declaration recites: ‘Europe has been at the forefront of industrial revolutions and technological innovations. The industry directly employs over 34 million people across all Member States, in supply chains comprising hundreds of thousands of SMEs and larger suppliers. It also indirectly accounts for millions of additional jobs in related sectors. The European Industry has remarkable capacity for research and innovation, boasts a skilled workforce and has earned a global reputation for quality and sustainability. What it now needs is the swift and determined support of the European Institutions and the Member States to create more jobs and growth in Europe. As we approach the preparation of the next Multiannual Financial Framework, it is vital to act and help the EU remain a competitive global industrial player

CONEBI at the 70th anniversary of the UNECE’s Inland Transport Committee

Geneva – February 20-24, 2017

CONEBI was invited by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe to the annual Transport Ministerial meeting dedicated to the “Past and Future of the UNECE Inland Transport Committee (ITC)”. The ITC, that celebrated its 70th anniversary, took stock of its past contributions but also decided on its future mission at a time of profound changes, challenges and opportunities globally. The Meeting of Transport Ministers highlighted the importance of sustainable inland transport in the economy: through its thematic panels, the valuable role of ITC as a gateway to promote connectivity was presented. It plays an important role as a platform to link regulators and innovators with special attention to technologies for sustainable mobility and as a center of UN transport conventions with special attention in considering the benefits of internationally harmonised regulatory governance for inland transport.

Presentation ‘How Speed-EPACs can contribute to make more people cycle to work’

Brussels – February 20, 2017

On February 20th, the Permanent Representation of Malta to the EU hosted, together with the European Cyclists’ Federation ECF, the final conference of the EU-funded project Bike2work: the main objective of this project was to encourage a significant modal shift from motorised commuting to cycling in several EU countries. Using a two-fold approach, the project targeted both employees’ behaviour through Bike2Work campaigns and encouraged employers to meet the needs of cyclists. The result is bicycle-friendly employers and employees’ using Cycling as a more sustainable form of commuting. The Austrian Mobility, the Bulgarian and Croatian Cycling Association, the Italian Federation of Friends of the Bicycle, the Green Revolution Association and the Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia contributed – together with ECF and other project partners – to a great project outcome. More info can be found at the following link.

During the final conference, CONEBI presented how Speed-EPACs can contribute to make more people cycle to work: Speed-EPACS make it possible for a bigger group of daily commuters to cycle to work and for longer distances. A study of the Cycling Embassy UK shows that a commuter is willing to cycle about 3km per day on average, which makes it possible to reach about 40% of the daily commuters. We see however that, with an EPAC (up to 25km/h) the distance a commuter is willing to cycle to work doubles reaching about 6km. With a Speed-EPAC, the distance doubles again and one is willing to cycle about 12km to go to work: in this perspective, almost 80% of the daily commuters can be reached.
Therefore, EPACs and Speed-EPACs offer great opportunities for the Bike2Work project and, on a broader level, constitute one of the best sustainable clean means of commuting for long distances.

Bici Academy: The evolution of Bike Shops in Italy

RIMINI –  January 15-16, 2017

Trade and sales have been deeply changing due to a society mutation which is more informed, curious, open to change and decides how to buy in a very different way in comparison with the past.

All these aspects in the process of sales create a discontinuity with ten or fifteen years ago. They amplify the areas of improvement for dealers and require new sale models and marketing, relationship and loyalty of customers. Above all, innovation and high-quality services offered from stores and dealers are required.

What is happening in the world of retail in Italy is that the purchase in stores still represents 90% of the total sales: in order to support this trend, CONFINDUSTRIA ANCMA – the Italian Association of Cycle and Motorcycle Accessories – organised on 15 and 16 January the first edition of the “BiciAcademy” at the convention centre of Rimini together with 12 major Italian and international brands (AMG, Bianchi, Bosch, Campagnolo, Focus Group, Giant, Mandelli, Santini Maglificio Sportivo, Scott, Selle Royal, Shimano, Vittoria). This new event took place under the banner of “knowledge and information” and provided opportunities to get answers to all questions that retailers posed to experts about the different aspects concerning bicycles shops affairs. The objective was to strengthen the skills of specialised shopkeepers of bicycles and to help adapt the Industry to the problems of a constantly evolving market, starting from a process of evolution of the figure of the bicycle dealers.

Two days  of “BiciAcademy” offered 14 workshops to more than 600 participants coming from all over Italy to Rimini. The topics covered were: carbon for bicycles, the correct warehouse management, strategic principles to locate a store, how to set up a shop windows, E-bikes, new forms of relationship with the customer in sales, the after-sale phase, the fundamental view on the social media, e-commerce for the two-wheelers and several others.
After a successful first edition, ANCMA has already started working on a new edition for 2018.

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the protection of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users

Brussels – December 2016

BRUSSELS, December 2016 – Last December 2016, the European Commission released its report on the protection of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users to the European Parliament and the Council. The report provides an overview of the feasibility and cost-benefit assessment of a wide range of candidate measures for possible inclusion in the General Safety and Pedestrian Safety Regulations. 19 measures are now proposed to be debated in view of the review of the General Safety and Pedestrian Safety Regulations and some of those proposed measures regard the interaction with cyclists.


Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)

AEB combines sensing of the environment ahead of the vehicle with the automatic activation of the brakes (without driver input) in order to mitigate or avoid an accident. First generation AEB for passenger cars (M1) are capable of automatically mitigating the severity of two-vehicle, front to rear shunt accidents (on straight roads and curves dependent on sensor line of sight and environment ‘clutter’) as well as some collisions with fixed objects and motorcycles. These systems are becoming more and more common, notably through Euro NCAP encouragement for systems that can detect slow moving or even stopped vehicles ahead. This is also the case for systems that have the capability to detect pedestrians and bicyclists, although these systems are currently still less common but increasingly available on a number of car models. In the context of the review of the General Safety and Pedestrian Safety Regulations, the European Commission states that an introduction timeline should be considered that allows for a phase in of the detection capabilities and mandatory introduction on passenger cars (M1) and vans (N1). Validated test procedures for AEB for M1 vehicles have been developed and implemented by Euro NCAP and could be used as a basis for future legislation. This this could be revolutionary for reducing crashes, fatalities and serious injuries.


Driver Drowiness or Distraction Monitoring

Distraction and drowsiness are both considered types of driver inattention for which the key shared feature is the absence of visual attention on the driving task, either due to fatigue or due to some activity that competes for a driver’s visual attention. Adding new technology to vehicles that can correct driver mistakes because of lack of observance will make cars safer. A wide range of technologies may be used to identify distraction or drowsiness in drivers in order to minimise related accidents. Systems may employ physiological monitoring, physical monitoring or behavioural indices and patterns. The European Commission states that the review of the General Safety Regulation should consider the introduction of technology neutral solutions that could help address this increasingly common threat to road safety and that they should be mandatory for all M and N vehicles.


Trucks and buses – Front-end Design and Direct Vision
For reasons related to efficient use of available space, mainly due to limitation of truck and trailer dimensions when driving within the EU, truck drivers are seated high on top of the engine since many decades. This high seating position is highly detrimental for the direct vision capability of the driver, especially concerning what happens in the vicinity of the truck’s front end. Whilst representing only 3% of vehicles on EU roads, trucks have been involved in a disproportionate number of collisions.
It has been suggested that either better mirrors and detection systems or simply the addition of side windows in the lower portion of truck cab doors could be required to improve the situation, but the effectiveness of such short-term measures may not be sufficient. It has however been suggested that a comprehensive improvement of direct vision of truck drivers has the potential to greatly contribute to much improved safety for vulnerable pedestrians and bicyclists.
Some of the concrete measures suggested are the focus on direct vision requirements to reduce blind spots and, in the short term, deploy camera or detection systems to reduce blind spots to be made mandatory for M2, M3, N2 and N3 vehicles.

As part of the preparatory process, the Commission will involve stakeholders and ask citizens for their feedback on the considered new vehicle safety rules. For this purpose, the Commission will prepare an inception impact assessment . The feedback that will be provided can then be taken into account for the further development of the policy proposal.

Chandigarh Asia Bicycle Alliance (ABA) Conference

Founding-Ceremony-of-Asia-Bicycle-Association-300x300Chandigarh (India) – December 8, 2016

CONEBI, representing the EU Bicycle, Ebikes & Components Industry, was invited by the Indian Bicycle Association AICMA -which was hosting the Asia Bicycle Alliance meeting- to participate in the conference “The New Vision of Bicycle Industry – The Coming of Asia-Pacific Century”.
Many very important Companies like Shimano, Giant, Hero and TI were represented at their highest level with their CEOs, as well as all the Members of the Asia Bicycle Alliance, with President. Mr. Ma as the Chairman of China Bicycle Association.
CONEBI Vice President Mr. Erhard Büchel made a presentation about the main trends in the EU Bicycle & Ebikes Market: the ABA meeting was associated with a first Indian Bicycle Show “Bicycle ExCon” in the same conference building.
Indian market is rapidly changing from the traditional “Roadster” Indian transport bicycle to more modern models like MTBs, which are very much liked by the fast growing younger generations in India.
Large investments in the production of modern components are needed, both from China, Taiwan, Japan and European Parts producers, in order to help the positive development of the Indian Bicycle Market.
Mr. Büchel already started a joint-venture in Ludhiana to produce bicycle Components, especially reflectors with the Indian Company Citizen.

No Deal on Environmental Goods

malmstromGeneva – December 4, 2016

Talks on reduced tariffs for environmentally friendly goods have not brought to an agreement in Geneva.
EU negotiators – along with their counterparts from 16 other WTO members – tried to iron out their remaining differences on the final list of products to be subject to full tariff abolition until the very last moment but differences on key issues prevailed.

Bicycles, E-Bikes and Components were among the most discussed products but the line of the EU has been firm against their inclusion in the deal.

The group of 17 participants in the EGA talks comprised Australia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Chinese Taipei, the European Union, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Singapore, United States, Israel, Turkey and Iceland – which together account for the majority of world trade in goods.

“The participants will now return to capitals to consider next steps” said EU Commissioner Malmström in the aftermath of the last round of negotiations in Geneva. The EGA negotiations were formally launched in Geneva on 8 July 2014.

European Commission presents a Strategy towards Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility

european_commissionBrussels – November 30, 2016
Profound change lies ahead for the transport sector; both in Europe and in other parts of the world. A wave of technological innovation and disruptive business models has led to a growing demand for new mobility services. At the same time, the sector is responding to the pressing need to make transport safer, more efficient and sustainable. The resulting transformation creates huge social and economic opportunities that Europe must seize now, to reap the benefits for its citizens and businesses” recites the European Commission at the beginning of its recent European strategy on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems, a milestone towards cooperative, connected and automated mobility.Digital technologies are among the strongest driver and enabler of such a process: nowadays vehicles are already connected devices but in the very near future they will also interact directly with each other and with the road infrastructure. This interaction is the domain of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS), which will allow road users and traffic managers to share and use information, as well as to coordinate their actions.

EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “My ambition is to see connected and cooperative vehicles on European roads by 2019 and the Strategy is a decisive step in that direction.” There is a risk that, without a framework at European level, EU-wide interoperability will not be achieved on time. This would put European Industry at a disadvantage to its competitors and delay the deployment of C-ITS in Europe, and with it the multiple benefits for transport and society at large. Therefore the Strategy foresees the adoption of an appropriate legal framework at EU level by 2018 to ensure legal certainty for public and private investors – addressing very critical issues including cyber-security and data protection.

The strategy focuses as well on the availability of EU funding for research and development projects on all aspects related to cooperative, connected and automated vehicles, mentioning in this respect the Connecting Europe Facility, Horizon2020, the European Structural and Investment Funds and the European Fund for Strategic Investments.

“Tookit” Guide to promote more Cycle-Rail Journeys

Rail-Cycle Integration (picture creditStagecoach Group)United Kingdom – November 2016

Each year in England, 50 million journeys are made by bike and train combined.

A comprehensive new guide to encourage many more people to ride bicycles to and from the station as part of their regular commuting journey has been published by the UK’s Cycle Rail Working Group, which reports to the Department for Transport.

Presented earlier this year at the CONEBI General Assembly, the updated guide -titled “Cycle Rail Toolkit 2”- is aimed primarily at the operators of trains and stations.

The Toolkit is divided into 10 sections, which follow the sequence of the trip to the station, followed by entry to – and movement within – it. Every section contains case study examples, and a large selection of illustrations. The guide is clear and concise, and sets out what does not work as well as what does

With over 2.5 million passengers a day on UK trains, the issue of cycle carriage is potentially controversial.The Toolkit describes some basic principles, covering bicycles, pushchairs, and general luggage.

Of particular relevance to an international audience are the sections on cycle parking, cycle hire and cycle security.There is also an Appendix specifically on wider counter-terrorism security considerations.

While much of the information in this guide may be familiar to many in the rail industry, it does provide some useful check lists and acts as an aide memoire for ensuring that the needs of cyclists, and the potential for growth in cycle/rail trips, are met at every stage of the journey.

First published in 2012, this new edition also includes examples of lessons learned from train operators in other European countries, notably the Netherlands and Belgium.

The Toolkit is free to download at: cycle_rail_toolkit_2.pdf

European Transport Forum 2016

Basis CMYKBrussels – September 27, 2016

Almost one year after the historic agreement at the Paris climate change conference in December 2015 – where 195 countries adopted the first ever universal, legally binding global climate deal –, the 2016 edition of the European Transport Forum focused its attention on reduction of CO2 emissions from transport in Europe.
The high-level forum gathered top policy-makers and stakeholders to discuss the recently published European Strategy for Low-Emission Mobility, the challenges related to the implementation of the Paris agreement and the importance of prioritising the main drivers of emissions reductions. After the introductory keynote speeches of the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Mr Miguel Arias Cañete and the Director of WWF Europe Ms Pons-Deladrière, European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport Ms Bulc addressed the audience with some very relevant points: the Commission is reviewing the Renewable Energy Directive and Member States will deliver soon their national plans for infrastructures. Moreover, the Commission is working on the revised framework for road charging systems – which will be presented in spring 2017 – as well as on a masterplan for the deployment of cooperative and connected automated vehicles.
In her speech, Commissioner Bulc stressed the importance of internalising the external costs in order to ensure equal opportunity conditions for all transport modes and stated that the Commission has ensured additional funding for Transport with the revision of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework.