Intelligent Transport Systems Congress powers into Melbourne

Melbourne's innovation in the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) sector will be on show to the world as the 23rd Intelligent Transport System World Congress (ITS 2016) moves into Melbourne from 10 - 14 October 2016.

ITS 2016 will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition (MCEC) and is expected to attract over 7,000 delegates to the state, generating $25 million in economic contribution.

Secured by Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) with strong support from Vice President and Board Director of ITS Australia, Mr Dean Zabrieszach, this will be the first time ever the congress has been held in Melbourne.

Melbourne, and Australia is recognised globally as a leader in the ITS sector, with technology developed here exported across the world. Transport equipment is Victoria's second largest manufacturing industry, employing 29,000 people and contributing $3.8 billion to Victoria's economy.

Karen Bolinger, Chief Executive Officer, Melbourne Convention Bureau said winning ITS 2016 was a coup for the state.

"ITS 2016 will be themed around showcasing the contribution of intelligent transport systems to the delivery of liveable cities and communities. Melbourne is the ideal city to demonstrate this theme, having been named for six consecutive years as the World's Most Liveable City, with liveability enhanced by intelligent transport systems contribution to the community."

"The congress is the ideal platform to showcase our local talent and attract global expertise to the state. ITS 2016 will bring together private corporations, public agencies and academic institutions involved in the research, design and implementation of ITS technologies across all modes of transport."

"It was a collaborative team Melbourne effort that enabled MCB to secure this conference for the state. Our bid was supported by State Government, City of Melbourne and MCEC, as well as our partners Melbourne Airport, SkyBus and Qantas," Ms Bolinger said.

The Victorian State Government is headline sponsor of the Congress and will host a Victorian pavilion within the exhibition to enable Victorian companies to showcase their capabilities on a global stage. The State will also host a range of official functions and high level government policy round tables with visiting international counterparts.

Acting Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Philip Dalidakis, said the ITS 2016 would further boost Victoria's visitor economy and offer a rare opportunity to highlight the state's impressive transport equipment manufacturing industry.

"Hosting the ITS 2016 is a great opportunity for us to showcase the very best that Victoria has to offer visitors from across the globe," Mr Dalidakis said.

"These events provide valuable opportunities for hotels, restaurants, shops and other small businesses across the state - boosting trade and the demand for jobs."

"It's also Victoria's chance to remind industry experts from global markets why we are a leader in innovation and the ITS sector."

The Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan said smart technology will help Government agencies design the next generation of freeways that will create greater efficiency and a safer, more reliable journey.

"With more information about real time traffic conditions we'll be able to help commuters make smarter choices on how they can get where they need to go - whether that's jumping in a car, taking public transport or cycling," Mr Donnellan said.

CEO and Director at HMI Technologies and Club Melbourne Ambassador, Mr Dean Zabrieszach played a significant role in securing the event. In his role as the Congress Project Director, Mr Zabrieszach said ITS 2016 will bring Melbourne's reputation as the world's most liveable city into the spotlight.

"This congress will be Australia's opportunity to foster further international cooperation in unleashing the power of ITS."

"In collaboration with ITS Asia Pacific, ERTICO and ITS America, ITS Australia has prepared a truly engaging program. In the tradition of ITS World Congresses there will be plenary, scientific, technical and interactive sessions, a dynamic exhibition plus technical demonstration and tours that showcase the applications of the latest ITS technology."

"This will be an opportunity for policy makers, practitioners, researchers and ITS providers to share information on social needs, opinions and technical developments addressing modern transport issues," Mr Zabrieszach said.

Two days of the congress exhibition will be open to the public for free on 13 and 14 October, addressing the rapidly growing public interest in ITS. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the latest innovations in ITS technology and meet over 300 exhibitors from over 60 countries.

The public program also incorporates a series of free informative community sessions, Melbourne Conversations. The Melbourne Conversations on ITS is a series of discussions across the city exploring issues and topics of interest for Melburnians, presented by the City of Melbourne.

MCEC Chief Executive, Peter King said after almost 11 years in the making, the venue is immensely looking forward to delivering the event.

"The world's best minds in ITS will take over more than 80 per cent of our venue, with our employees set to work over 600 shifts to deliver the entirely customised event.

"The technology requirements for this event in particular are immense. Delegates will have access to our dedicated platinum Wi-Fi service, while 80GB per hour of recorded video content is expected to be internally transferred each day across the course of the event," Mr King said.

MCEC's award-winning venue infrastructure and delivery capabilities were a key factor when selecting Melbourne for this conference.

"The Welcome Reception alone is spread across 19,500 square metres of space, but the event won't just stop at our doors - it will be infiltrating the entire city of Melbourne and our transport networks."

"One of the key factors that attracted this event to Melbourne is the proximity of the venue to the city centre and its myriad of visitor experiences," Mr King added.