“We have just celebrated the 90th anniversary of the association and evidently the major role of UIC in serving the worldwide railway community is to develop technical expertise, documents and projects.
This has been done through the 700 leaflets used daily by railway stakeholders. This is also done year after year through the programme of projects which is prepared and decided by members. One of the major breakthroughs that UIC can also bring to the railway community is to develop projects on research matters, and for this reason, over the recent years we have answered a number of European Commission project calls under the 5th, 6th and 7th framework programmes.
These proposals are prepared by the Research Coordination Group (RCG) and through ERRAC’s work. We have seen with great pleasure that a growing number of projects for which UIC has proposed its coordination or monitoring is now a reality and this is giving UIC even more credibility in its development as a technical platform and needs to be increased. This is evidently also a very important added value through the funding that is received by the European Commission on these specific projects.
At the same time this development at world level is now also trying to become a reality through the International Rail Research Board (IRRB) and through specific peer review contracts which are requested by a number of members and institutions. This adjustment ties in with the need to be even more professional with regard to the management of projects and answers one of the expectations of our members expressed at the latest statutory meetings.
This is part of the answer which was debated at the last Regional and General Assemblies to give UIC an even stronger and bigger input in the development of its technical expertise with outside funding. Through this new External Funding Unit (EFU) we hope that we will grow in this direction and I’m happy to inform you about the creation of this unit, which will be managed by Aline Wego and the team with whom you are now familiar”.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General