Following the official adoption of its new terms of references by the Regional Assembly Europe on 30 May, the new Research and Innovation Coordination Group (RICG) gathered the very next day for a session particularly focused on introducing its new organisation and structure to all participants. Three working groups, set up prior to this meeting, and formed by a few volunteer members, presented their proposal to transfer the ToRs into concrete activities:
- The Working Group Common Collaboration offered to concentrate its efforts on helping the creation of quick projects which are of interest to several members in solving a current problem, through a mix of companies’ investments and EU-funding;
- The Working Group Vision and Strategy proposed to help define the common storyline on research and innovation from the Railway Operating Community (ROC) by comparing members’ strategies to identify short-, mid- and long-term priorities; and
- The Working Group Liaison aims at ensuring that all elements commonly produced within RICG are properly transferred and disseminated to all relevant rail stakeholders, promoting a unified perception of research and innovations issues and more efficient collaboration.
Additionally, the previous RICG meeting decided to set up a Taskforce on Digitalisation – working together with the three working groups – on clarifying what digitalisation actually is and mapping the current understanding of it by European members through a questionnaire to be launched very soon.
Some time was also dedicated to reflect on the request for topics for the Horizon 2020 2018-2020 Working Programme. A few key elements to be researched with a multi-modal perspective that emerged from discussions will be further developed by the Common Collaboration working group.
Thje RICG will have its next meeting on 6 September 2016 at UIC HQ, in Paris – looking forward to hear about the first results of the Working Group activities.