TTI’s smart cities research focus gained an international partner on March 9 when the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Smart City Institute (SCI) of the University of Liège in Liège, Wallonia, Belgium. The purpose of the MOU, which was signed by TTI Agency Director Greg Winfree and SCI Director Nathalie Crutzen at an event hosted by TTI, is to promote collaboration on smart city issues among researchers at TTI and SCI.
“We are pleased to be working with our partners at the Smart City Institute,” notes Katie Turnbull, TTI Executive Associate Director. “There are numerous opportunities to collaborate on research projects and conference presentations, as well as through exchanges involving students, researchers, faculty and community members.”
The first such collaboration following the MOU signing ceremony took place at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, on March 11, with TTI Senior Research Engineer Beverly Kuhn participating in a panel discussion organized and moderated by Crutzen on the topic, “Smart Cities: Perspectives from Europe and North America.” The international panel highlighted smart city challenges and dynamics in Europe and North America, including issues such as stakeholder engagement and key success factors.
“The panel discussion is the first of what TTI and SCI hope will be many partnership efforts to advance the opportunities afforded by smart cities and the vision they offer for the future,” said Kuhn.
The other signing ceremony participants in the Belgium delegation included: Pascale Delcomminette, Wallonia Foreign Trade and Investment Agency (AWEX); Yves Dubus, AWEX; Hubert Goffinet, Wallonia-Brussels International (WBI); and Jessica Miclotte, WBI.