Beam launches Micromobility Research Partnership

Beam launches Micromobility Research Partnership
  • Beam will contribute funding to research on wide-ranging impacts of micromobility
  • The Micromobility Research Partnership brings together academics from universities across Australia and New Zealand to study the future of sustainable transport

[4 April 2022] Leading micromobility company Beam has spearheaded the creation of the ‘Micromobility Research Partnership’ (MRP), bringing together academics from around the region for the first time to study the future of micromobility.

The MRP is the product of a partnership between Professor Mark Stevenson of the University of Melbourne, Professor Hussein Dia from Swinburne University of Technology, the Transport Research Centre at the University of Auckland and Strategic Transport Sustainability and Impact Consultant Mr Ferdinand Balfoort.

The Micromobility Research Partnership will conduct research on sustainable transport to identify and promote priority pathways to reduce global transport emissions, and other topics including:

  • Micromobility’s economic and social value to a city, including strategies to address transport poverty and promote social inclusion
  • The environmental impact of micromobility in improving air quality and reducing transport emissions
  • Understanding the current and potential future use of micromobility as a mode of transport, and its impacts on car-use and car-ownership
  • Delivering safe and sustainable transport futures

The MRP will also collaborate with research projects initiated by other academics and research institutes, offering academic support and funding in order to build a global coalition of sustainable transport experts. Beam will also seek to collaborate with its own riders as part of quantitative and qualitative research into the use and impacts of micromobility.

To maintain the independence of the MRP’s research and publications, Beam will contribute funding towards the MRP to support the MRP’s research and academic collaborations, but the MRP will develop and run its own research. All academic research emanating from the MRP will be independently peer-reviewed and published in leading international journals.

MRP continues to grow its academic collaborations globally, and invites academics, researchers and industry experts in the field of sustainable transportation and micromobility to make contact to join our journey, via collaborations@themrp.org

Beam Australia and New Zealand’s General Manager Tom Cooper said:

“Since our launch into Australia and New Zealand, Beam has always been committed to working with academics and researchers to examine the impacts of micromobility on the environment, cities and communities which we operate in.

“It is with great excitement that Beam initiates the Micromobility Research Partnership, with a commitment to contributing funding, our aggregated data and other operational findings towards greater understanding of micromobility in the region.

“Beam is committed to partnerships that better improve Australians and New Zealanders’ access to multi-modal transport, and we see this partnership as yet another step taken towards enabling shared mobility solutions for all in Australia, New Zealand as well as globally.

“This will encourage and enable increased research and study into micromobility in the region.”

Prof Hussein Dia from Swinburne University of Technology said:

“The MRP will help provide the research community with access to much needed data to evaluate the sustainability and safety aspects of micromobility, particularly at a time when the industry is witnessing a rapid growth of technology and digitalization improvements leading to increasingly more durable and sustainable devices.

“This initiative will create opportunities for collaboration between researchers across the globe which will help to share case study results, quantify benefits and remove barriers to wide scale adoption.

"The MRP will lead to development of meaningful research to provide evidence of the role of micromobility as a solution to reduce reliance on private vehicle travel particularly for first and last kilometre connections to transport hubs and for short commuting trips.”

Prof Stevenson from the University of Melbourne said:

“We are confronted by significant global health challenges in the 21st century, which are prompting calls to rethink how we deliver key urban systems. This is particularly the situation when dealing with the transport system.

“Our transport futures will rely on new initiatives such as micromobility and I welcome the MRP; a partnership that will support independent, robust research and thereby providing the important insights necessary for transport planning and policy decisions now and into the future.”

Associate Professor Doug Wilson and Associate Professor Yun Sing Koh from the University of Auckland are supportive of the partnership and the collaborative opportunities it presents: 

"This partnership provides a genuine opportunity for research collaboration and advancing state-of-the-art research to promote and extend sustainable transport whilst minimising transport-related emissions and building environmental resilience. 

“To quickly transition to a low / zero emission transport system requires strong leadership that enables effective collaboration of communities, agencies and industry to turn sustainable mobility visions into action. ’Business as usual’ will be seen by future generations as a failure, meaning that we will have missed opportunities to improve both social and environmental sustainability outcomes at a time of unprecedented technology uncertainty and change. Decisions on infrastructure and technology adoption must be evidence based to ensure preferred future options are realised. 

“The safe trialing of new micro-mobility technologies (e.g. Beam) that serve short to medium length trips or first and last kilometre mobility requires the appropriate trialing, data monitoring, analytics and evaluation of user behaviours.  A partnership between researchers, agencies, communities of users and industry will help us to together ensure better outcomes and enable evidence-based policy and the appropriate regulatory systems are put in place to manage these systems’.  

“The Transportation Research Centre (TRC) of the University of Auckland is looking forward to working within the MRP to help meet transport mobility, access and community sustainability imperatives.”   

Impact Consultant Ferdinand Balfoort said:

“Transport emissions globally continue to rise in spite of efforts to reduce these to meet Paris Agreement targets. Transport related emissions also represent a significant portion of global emissions, and equally contribute significantly to mortalities and health issues globally.

“I am therefore looking forward to engaging with my academic peers in cutting edge research on transport sustainability, to thereby provide policy makers and governments reliable insights and data, and hence accelerate the reduction in reliance on traditional fossil fuelled transportation.”

Find out more about the Micromobility Research Partnership at www.themrp.org

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