ISFORT – the Italian acronym for High Institute for Transport Education and Research – was founded in 1994 with the aim of contributing to the development of the technical knowledge and to the public debate about mobility and logistics in Italy. Its founders, the current shareholders, were the National Foundation of Communications and Ferrovie dello Stato, the national railway company.
ISFORT aims at developing the socio-economical and the technical know-how of mobility and logistics, delivering high quality research activity, consultancy, technical assistance, professional education and formation.
ISFORT dedicates its main efforts to research and professional education about transportation to acquire a deep understanding of the main trends and dynamics of the sector, to identify critical issues and address them through the design of original tools and behavioral models.
As part of these efforts, ISFORT runs three Monitoring Centers, called Observatories (AUDIMOB – National Survey on Mobility style and behviors of Italians; Logistics and freights; OPMUS – Sustainable Urban Mobility Policies), nationally recognized by policy makers and transport actors as leading sources of information, and whose findings influence the public debate about mobility and logistics. These Observatories have systematically produced relevant datasets with significant time series and have given the opportunity to develop and test innovative analytical tools.
Thanks to these unique and scientifically grounded activities, ISFORT offers highly specialized consultancy services and research activities in quantitative analysis, strategic planning and cost-benefit evaluation of transport systems and policies. As a relevant knowledge spillover, ISFORT offers a qualified and wide portfolio of training and courses for public authorities, NGOs, companies and other stakeholders.
Staff and competences
ISFORT relies on a qualified core of internal competences which are complemented by a wide network of national and international experts and competences covering diversified competences in statistics and applied research in engineering, economy, and urban and regional planning.
The Institute plays the pivotal role of being a hub of different and complementary expertise, with the aim of building a network with shared ethical values and professional standards. Such a strategy is witnessed by the participation of ISFORT in several important partnerships and collaborations, such as with national research institutes, academia, the Italian Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport and the Italian Ministry of Economy, among others.
Expertise and scientific approach
ISFORT covers three main approaches:
- A demand-side focus on the mobility of people and companies, which identifies mobility needs, investigates users’ behaviors, explains short- and long-time mobility patterns, and consequentially defines policies coherent with users’ needs and expectations;
- A constant seeking for innovative solutions and emerging socio-economical processes related to mobility and logistics;
- The development of decision-making and policy-making tools tailored for the different territorial scales and for the different transport means and levels (from SUMPs to Sectoral Plans), with a special focus on planning of public transport services.
ISFORT has developed a solid methodology which correctly balances the qualitative in-depth comprehension of mobility patterns with strong quantitative skills. Such a balance guarantees a deep understanding of ongoing processes thanks to the appreciation of field-analysis tools, with robust mathematical modelling, forecasting techniques, and the assessment of transport and environmental impacts of new infrastructures and services.