The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) is poised to expand its international research presence to the European Union state of the Czech Republic. Joe Button, senior research fellow with TTI, participated in the Central European (CE) T2 (technology transfer) meeting held last September. The objectives of the meetings were to offer participants the opportunity to learn about and expand technology transfer activities in the Central European T2 Group and discuss potential joint projects. This trip was sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of International Programs.
“There was a tremendous amount of information shared between the partners,” says Daniel Berman, Federal Highway Administration division director. “Our meetings focused on the needs of the national transportation community such as safety, operations, design and construction.”
The group traveled to the Czech Republic for the CE T2 meeting; met with Czech Republic Ministry of Transport officials in Prague; toured research facilities in Brno and Tisnov; and toured several locations of roundabouts, bridges and tunnels. They also assessed different types of asphalt and concrete pavements.
“During our meetings, it became clear that safety was the most important issue for the Czech Republic,” says Button. “Therefore, that area of research might provide the greatest opportunity for TTI.”
The Czech Republic was established after the split of the former Czechoslovakia into two independent states on January 1, 1993, and is one of the most stable and prosperous of the post-Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe. The Czech Republic is bordered by the Slovak Republic to the east, by Poland in the north, by Germany in the west and by Austria in the southeast.
Transportation is one of the key sectors of the Czech Republic’s economy with significant potential for international relations. Demand for the transport of passengers and goods has been growing constantly. The objective of the Czech administration is to create legislative and economic conditions that will provide public transport services, encourage business activities in the transportation sector and establish a transport infrastructure to meet growing transport demands.
“The world is growing smaller, and as a world leader we recognize that sharing technology is a best practice and allows us to market beyond our borders,” says Berman. “We look forward to a long and lasting relationship with TTI in our efforts to advance global transportation.”