International Road Federation (IRF )


The International Road Federation (IRF) and its new Start-Up Label will collaborate with the FIA Smart Cities Global Start-Up Contest to identify and support start-ups with high impact potential to accelerate innovation in the mobility sector across the world. 

Created in 2017 as part of the FIA Smart Cities initiative aiming to help cities define new models for more sustainable urban mobility, the FIA Smart Cities Global Start-Up Contest selects each year 18 finalists and four winners among promising mobility-focused start-ups from the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Powered by MassChallenge, it gives the finalists a platform to grow their network and visibility by connecting them to key mobility stakeholders in multinational corporates, government, and public institutions. 

For the Season 5 of the Contest, the IRF will give the finalists an exclusive opportunity to obtain its new Start-Up Label designed to support high-potential mobility start-ups, help them showcase their credibility, and further build trust with their clients, investors, and employees. 

As a jury member, the IRF will contribute to select the Contest winners but also identify the participating start-up(s) that will be awarded with the IRF Start-Up Label. In doing so, the IRF will pay a special attention to start-ups focusing on innovations in the areas of road financing and economics; intelligent transportation systems (ITS); cooperative, connected and automated mobility (CCAM); and road safety, road efficiency and sustainability. 

Laureates of the IRF Start-up Label will benefit from IRF’s official endorsement for three consecutive years. During the first year, they will gain professional mentoring on a topic of their choice provided by IRF experts. Start-ups will also be invited to participate in IRF networking events, providing them exposure to relevant stakeholders. During the second and third year, the IRF will assist with bespoke actions aligned with start-ups’ priorities. 

We are excited about this initiative and delighted to work with the FIA to get closer to the start-up community. Innovation is a key aspect of the mobility sector, and we want to help start-ups with novel ideas to exploit their value proposition to the maximum, and achieve the best possible market fit,

IRF President, Bill Halkias

This Label represents an excellent complement to the FIA Smart Cities Global Start-Up Contest. It offers entrepreneurs support to further develop and accelerate the adoption of their innovative ideas for a safer, more sustainable and inclusive urban mobility,” 

FIA President, Jean Todt

IRF Start-up Label
“We support innovation by fostering trust”

Liesbeth CasierSenior Policy Advisor, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Liesbeth Casier is a Senior Policy Advisor with IISD’s Economic Law and Policy Program. She works with the Public Procurement and Infrastructure Finance team on research and advisory services that involve innovation in public procurement. She also works on IISD’s Sustainable Asset Valuation. Liesbeth has advised governments in Bhutan, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, India, Morocco, Paraguay, Senegal, South Africa and the Netherlands.
Liesbeth also works extensively with the European Commission, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on policy frameworks and the business case for sustainable infrastructure. She represents IISD at the OECD Working Group on Leading Practitioners on Public Procurement.
Liesbeth previously worked with UN Environment and started her career as consultant in auditing and corporate finance with a family-owned consultancy business in Belgium. Liesbeth has an academic background in political science and law.