The first meeting of the UIC Research & Innovation Coordination Group (RICG) meeting in 2016 was held on 9 February. Many members were interested to attend and to discuss the important agenda.
One of the main issues to discuss and finalise were the new RICG Terms of reference and the follow-up: how to implement the TOR. It became necessary to amend the previous version of the TOR as the European Research & Innovation landscape has changed quite a lot since the start of the EC’s H2020 programme which includes Shift2Rail. A final draft of the new TOR was presented to the previous Regional Assembly Europe and was endorsed under the condition that a few last minute minor adaptations would still have to be made. The final version has been agreed by the RICG.
Following this a proposal was made, discussed and adopted as to how to organise the work. It was decided that the ‘coordination’ work of the RICG should be more tangible and as effective as possible. The following three working groups were proposed at the 09/02 RICG for establishment:
- WG Liaison: led by Juergen Maier (BLS)
- WG Vision and Strategy: led by Ralf Marxen (DB) / Ulrich Meuser (DB)
- WG Common Collaboration: led by Johan Jonsson (TRV)
Célia Levy (SNCF) has volunteered to lead a “work stream” on digitalisation, its ongoing developments and future plans in close cooperation with the chair (SNCF) of the Standardisation Platform in order to work in the most synergic manner and avoid duplication. An RICG work plan on digitalisation will be developed and proposed.
The leaders will now prepare a proposal on the objectives, activities, processes/scheduled to-do list, concrete actions, deliverables, resources and costs. These proposals will be assessed by and decided on by the RICG Steering Group. The input to this work from the other RICG members will be very welcome!
By the way, the RICG is open to all European members interested in research issues and in innovation of their rail system, services and operations.
Under the heading of ‘Shift2Rail”, the current status, the RICG role, the topics and members’ interests in the topics of the S2R Open Call and the next steps and organisation of the preparation for the 2nd Open S2R Call were presented and discussed.
Under the topic of “ERRAC”, feedback was given on the outcome of the previous ERRAC Steering Committee meeting which was held on 2 February. The progress of the FOSTER-RAIL project and the finalisation of the 10 part-Roadmaps for rail research & innovation were presented as well as the progress of the ‘sister project’ SETRIS. UIC is involved in SETRIS among others in the work packages to draft an intermodal roadmap for passenger transport research & innovations as well as the one on intermodal freight logistics – WP 1 & 2. WP 3 contains a task dealing with the implementation of the ERRAC/FOSTER-RAIL Technology Roadmaps.
Some information was given on the progress of the H2020 Call for proposal for transport, whose process is still ongoing.
An important issue on the agenda is also the feedback on research related topics from the other UIC bodies such as the Forums and Platforms as well as from UIC organised Conferences. This feedback may lead to important input to ERRAC and EC work programmes for research funding.
The next RICG meeting will be held alongside the WCRR – World Congress on Rail Research in Milan, Italy, on 31 May from 14.00 – 17.00 at the NH Hotel – close to the Stella Polare Convention Centre.
The slides used during the RICG meeting have also been uploaded on the Extranet in the Research workspace.