Information published on 24 February 2009 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 133.

UIC Brussels welcomes the Research Coordination Group

  • Europe
  • Research

The 13th Research Coordination Group meeting was held at the UIC’s Brussels Offices on February 10th 2009. The chairman Dennis Schut, UIC Senior Research Advisor, opened the meeting with the key items being the PTR Strategy Programme 2020, ERRAC activities, progress of work, next steps..., update on the open FP7 calls at the European Commission and raise an open discussion for funding multilateral projects.

The PTR Strategy Programme 2020 is supposed to draw a roadmap with a long-term horizon for the development of rolling stock and the interfaces.
Enno Wiebe from the Technical and Research department at UIC stated that the PTR mainly concentrates on Rolling Stock. Workshops have been organised to harmonise the PTR Strategy 2020 with that of other UIC bodies.
This programme is not supposed to compete with other platform’s strategies but to be regarded as one brick in a common UIC strategy paper to face tomorrow’s challenges. It shall be in line with the global strategy of the railway community. This working paper shall trigger off the necessary discussion with other UIC bodies and the railway community.
A survey has been circulated to the UIC members on February 11th of 2009 to identify the research priorities and topics to be added to the PTR Strategy Plan.

The work packages team has been working very hard to provide the ERRAC 3rd Call priorities. Each work package representative gave a presentation on the status of the letter’s art and content addressed to the European Commission.

The meeting heard that on 10th February 2009, a meeting between UIC (project coordinator), UNIFE and the project officer of the European Commission about the ERRAC roadmap project was held. It went through all the priorities and identified the EC’s views on how to achieve the needed step changes in rail freight transport.

Dennis Schut presented an overview of the (rail) transport related issues in the presently open Calls for
Galileo and ICT:

GALILEO project, launched at the end of December 2008 for the 2nd FP7 call has been integrated by the railway participants and by the partners in the UIC GALILEO Panel of Experts (GPOE). Given the high priority of many railways to promote cost/ efficient and operationally adapted solutions to low traffic lines (today without any perspective of using the modern technologies).

The ICT project was launched in November 2008 for the 4th FP7 call for Clean and Efficient Mobility for further improving energy efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions in all modes of transport.
(Information on both of these can be obtained by contacting Dennis Schut in Brussels)

Dennis Schut presented an overview of the Futurail - Skillrail projects on behalf of Nathalie Amirault, Senior International Training Manager from UIC.

Futurail aims to contribute to European surface transport research programme implementation and to the enhancement of the railway sector by fostering a better match between the human resources needs to make railways a more competitive and innovative sector and the offer of skills coming out of the different research based education and training institutions across Europe. In this context, Futurail does not aim to develop new research but simply develop a matching function that is to bring the existing knowledge near the existing needs for a successful synergy.

The purpose of SKILLRAIL is to contribute to European surface transport research program implementation and to the enhancement of the sector by fostering a better match between the human resources needs to make railways a more competitive and innovative sector and the offer of skills coming out of the different research based education and training institutions across Europe.

Marie-Hélène Bonneau Program Manager at the UIC Security Competence Centre presented an overview of the Protectrail project.

The task is to develop an integrated system to improve the security of rail transportation through better protection of railways and trains, and to reduce disparity in security between European railway systems. This will include the immunity of signal and power distribution systems against electromagnetic terrorism, the detection of abnormal objects on or under ballast; clearance of trains before daily use; control of access to driver’s cabin, detection of unauthorised driver; new methods/tools to isolate and secure luggage; as well as a study and tools to reduce disparity of European railway systems’ security. The action will demonstrate the potential of the European rail transportation systems for improved protection and homogeneity.

Research Coordination members raised the question of funding multilateral projects.
Not all the projects are suitable to be presented to the European Commission for funding, such as wider scale projects, longer term of research projects, projects requiring wider budget, projects filtered out of FP7 3rd call proposals…

Gabriele Maffei, UIC Director of Technology and Research put in evidence that the Research Coordination Group is a good forum for people to discuss projects and is meant to share information and expertise to answer the UIC members needs in terms of Research.

An open discussion will be set in Vienna during the next PTR workshop on April the 16th of 2009 at OBB HQ. All Research Coordination Group members were invited to participate by Mr Schimany representative of OBB at the 13th RCG meeting in Brussels.

For more information please contact the UIC Brussels office: brussels@uic.asso.fr