ECF Summit: ‘Cycling Is Winning Mobility Technology’
UTRECHT, the Netherlands – As an opening event of the European Cycling Industry year, the European Cyclists’ Federation gathered, on March 1st in Utrecht. Industry leaders, disruptors, market makers and other industries’ innovators envisaged here that cycling was likely to be one of the winning technologies in the future of mobility.
At the ECF Summit it was concluded that the cycling industry already benefits society in the EU by 513 billion euro per year. In particular thanked to cycling’s impact in very diverse policy areas such as mobility, environment, health and technology.
According to ECF “The Cycling Industry Leaders’ Summit has been the perfect platform to reflect strategically on the development of the industry, responding to 2017’s European Cycling Strategy, while inspiring top leaders from the biggest leading companies to the most diverse start-ups.”
Future of mobility
The Industry Leaders panel, focusing on the future of mobility and cycling in Europe, featured Jeroen Snijders-Blok, COO at Accell Group who conveyed on how bicycles are a perfect solution for 95% of the business, human and mobility needs in a 21st century city. Carlo van de Weijer from the University of Eindhoven and TomTom provided evidence that cycling was likely to be one of the winning technologies in the future of mobility, because of its cost effectiveness, low impact and extremely efficient use of public space.
The Summits also featured a ‘Disruptors Roundtable’. It gathered Nextbike, Vodafone, Free2cycle and Uber to enlighten the future of mobility. The session showed the benefit to the industry of bringing visions from outside the existing cycling industry about the cycling market place. Putting together experts from telecoms, automotive, the sharing economy and banking, the session opened up discussions about bringing a 100 million Europeans, who are not cycling at the moment, on to bicycles. Dennis Steinsiek from Nextbike summarized the conclusion of the panel, saying “The next disruptive idea is to make all kinds of bicycles (e-bikes, cargo bikes…) accessible to the 99%.”
Next the ‘Market Makers’ panel pitched the benefits of investing in lobbying at a national and regional level including tourism development, sport and daily cycling, high quality infrastructure and Eastern Europe new markets development. The speakers gave the industry insights in the big markets and opportunities of the future to invest in: it can help to bring levels of cycling in the EU to double, which means not only potential to uplift bike sales and prices, but also that the cycling market could account for 400,000 new jobs. 12 million e-bikes will be on our streets and trails and cargo bikes could deliver half of the local goods movements in Europe. As Lars Strömgren, President of Cykelframjandet and acting ECF President stated “How the dynamic and strength of a narrative can be leveraged to get a multi-million subsidy for e-bikes!”
Dutch best practices
Finally, as an epic conclusion the ‘Putting it all together’ session focused on the Dutch best practices in which the industry, NGOs and government work together to keep the levels of cycling high in the Netherlands. The speakers provided concrete examples and learning experiences to grow cycling in other countries.
Lars Strömgren, acting ECF President closed the successful summit and agreed together with the ECF Cycling Industry Club members “ECF achieved, with this conference, the goal of getting all sized company owners and founders come together and discuss synergies and new ways ahead for the cycling industry.”