Throughout 2020 CIE’s Expert Groups have taken a leadership role in all areas of our work and the groups have ambitious agendas for 2021. Over 150 company experts and partners of CIE worked on their chosen priorities last year, uniting companies of all sizes and from all sectors of the industry.
In the relatively short time since CIE was founded members are telling us that the Expert Groups are one of the most important tools for our advocacy work in the EU and for practical help to strengthen their businesses. They provide a platform for the many sectors of the industry to stimulate innovation and enhance the growth of the cycling industry. Through our regular work, we create policy positions, influence policies and regulations, exchange best practice and benefit from international networking with professional and business contacts.
Our 6 Experts Groups are up and running again at full speed. In each Expert Group monthly meetings regularly take place and the schedule for the new year has been set up. Discussions on priorities and activities for 2021 have already started and we look forward to fruitful collaboration with our several members in order to bring forward the cycling sector and place cycling on top of the EU agenda.
CIE’s Bike Share Expert Group gathers together leading European bike share operators and suppliers to form a strong advocacy voice for the sector. This year the focus has been on getting to know the new EU and ensuring that bike sharing will have prominent place in the new EU’s policies & funding. The group works on making bike sharing an integral part of urban mobility in all relevant European cities by influencing policy makers and communicating the benefits of bike sharing. The group invites key EU experts to exchange with decision makers and have a direct communication. This autumn the group launched a campaign to have bike sharing schemes in every city in Europe to fast track the green recovery in the EU.
The Expert Group on Connected Cycling and Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) aims to integrate cycling into all areas of Smart transport. That means cycling having a place in Smart Cities, Connected and Multimodal Transport, Smart Bikes and all aspects of wider ITS deployment, encourage strategic collaboration within the sector and play a steering role in developing cycling ITS solutions. In 2021 the work will continue with the definition of the ambitions and needs of cycling along with stakeholders, policy makers and users to put that strategy into action. Our work also contributes to the EU funded Bicycles and ITS project (BITS), which gives us a unique platform to showcase the strengths of our members.
If the growth figures in cycling as a whole are currently strong then the figures for cargo bikes and logistics businesses are spectacular. The Expert Group on Cargo Bikes and Cycle Logistics proved the point with the first ever European industry survey on the sector in spring 2020. This group is a partnership with the European Cycle Logistics Federation (ECLF) so we cover all dimensions of the sector. The group is working on enhancing the growth of the sector, focusing on standardisation, marketing, communication and business processes to show the potential of cargo bikes in service and delivery trips. The strength of the partnership has come out second half of the year with an EU investigation into the regulation and safety of new mobility devices including e-bikes. Our Experts gathered the whole sector in a common position and are making sure the cargo bike industry is at the core of EU decision-making.
Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important topic for the cycling industry reflecting the EU’s aim to make products fit for a climate-neutral, resource-efficient and circular economy, reducing waste and ensuring that the performance of front-runners in sustainability progressively becomes the norm. New EU regulations cover topics such as circular economy, CO2 emissions cut, critical raw materials and banning single use of plastics. This is why CIE together with CONEBI has initiated an Expert Group on CSR and Sustainability. The group is divided into three priority groups: 1) Co2 Footprint: Life Cycle Assessment – CSR qualification tools of bicycles; 2) Supply Chain Responsibility: Responsible sourcing of raw materials; and 3) Circular Economy – Material Use: Use of recycled materials.
Every industry needs data and intelligence about its own markets and outside trends. All policy decisions need to be supported by data. That is why CIE and the European Cyclists Federation (ECF) have come together to form a Market Impact and Intelligence Expert Group which has had a big impact on the cycling sector in 2020 with its market projections and business impact surveys. This Expert Group gathers evidence and produce intelligence, allowing accurate market forecasting, stronger promotion of the sector, and better information for the industry. Thanks to CIE’s series of Business Impact Surveys, the group could analyse data about the state of play of the market during the Covid19 crisis and use the figures to showcase the importance of investing in the cycling sector for the recovery with policy makers at national and EU level. This Expert Group is doing complete unique things, with a new way of looking at the market in Europe that was never done before, giving members the inside track on new market developments as they happen.
CIE is delighted to have as part of its membership an exciting group of innovators and entrepreneurs in companies of all sizes who are finding new ways to grow cycling. This group is also attracting attention from private sector investors, interested by the huge business potential of cycling. That is why in late 2020 we launched an Innovation, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Expert Group. The work is just started, but it is clear that the group will be a platform to bring cycling companies to the attention of EU policy makers and support programmes such as EU’s Executive Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises (EASME) and the Enterprise Europe Network. We are looking forward to setting up the work in 2021 when a public launch and calendar of activities will start.
In addition to our Expert Groups, CIE will launch a new initiative in 2021 along with ECF, CONEBI, Mobycon and Velokonzept: Women in Cycling. This platform will strengthen the voice of women working in the cycling sector.
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