UIC is pleased to announce that the European Commission has just approved a new Grant Agreement under the UIC coordination for the project called Capacity4Rail.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, said:
“We are pleased to see UIC’s ability to coordinate complex projects such as these, which is increasingly recognised by the European Commission’s DG Research. UIC is pleased to deploy its technical expertise to meet this sensitive and significant challenge. I would like to emphasise the interest which our members can gain from this recognition of our professionalism, both technically and in terms of professional financial and administrative management. This position corresponds to the goal I set in 2009 at the General Assembly.”
The number of EU co-funded projects with UIC participation has constantly increased over the past few years. This indicates that the UIC has been progressively recognised as a professional platform and a reliable contributor on behalf of its members, especially with regard to technical/research issues that benefit their interests.
The key aspect of the European added value is the multi-state applicability of many actions: research projects are carried out by consortia which include participants from different European (and other) countries. There are currently 27 projects in which the UIC team is engaged.
UIC is the Coordinator of 5 of them (RIVAS, MAINLINE, RESTRAIL, SATLOC and the recently approved CAPACITY4RAIL) and also involved as a partner in 22 other consortia, the assigned tasks being in Technical Research, in Dissemination and also in Project Management and Coordination.
The EU projects carried out by the UIC are mainly part of the 7th Framework Programme (FP7), but the experience acquired during the past 4 years now enable UIC to manage other types of projects too, in cooperation with the Commission’s various General Directorates (DG) and agencies like TEN-T and GNSS.
At the end of the FP7 programme that has been running for seven years from 2007 until 2013, UIC is ready to commit itself, for the benefit of its members and the whole railway community, to the incoming projects to be started within Europe 2020.
As a reminder, the FP7 bundles all research-related EU initiatives together under a common roof playing a crucial role in reaching the goals of growth, competitiveness and employment.
The broad objectives of FP7 are to promote and encourage the creation of European poles of (scientific) excellence. In addition to national research programmes, activities funded in FP7 must have a “European added value”. In comparison, the Europe 2020 announced priority will be a smart and sustainable economy integrating employment, innovation, education, poverty reduction and climate/energy, all these fields gathered under the umbrella of a strong and effective system of economic governance.
The CAPACITY4RAIL objectives include:
CAPACITY4RAIL aims at paving the way for the future railway system, delivering coherent, demonstrated, innovative and sustainable solutions for:
- Track design: transversal approach for infrastructure solutions for conventional mixed traffic and very high speed, integrated monitoring and power supply, reduced maintenance, new concept for highly reliable switches and crossings
- Freight: longer trains, lower tare loads, automatic coupling, enhanced braking, modern, automated, intelligent, fully integrated system for efficient, reliable and profitable freight operations
- Operation and capacity: traffic capacity computation for freight and passengers, models and simulators for planners: capacity generation, traffic flow, resilience to perturbations, ability to recover from disturbance, computerised real time information to customers and operators at any time
- Advanced monitoring: Integration of Advanced Monitoring Technologies in the design and building process, for an easier-to-monitor (self-monitoring) infrastructure with low cost and low impact inspection
The full sustainability of the developed solutions and innovations will be assessed and scenarios for a smooth migration of the system from its current to its future state will be evaluated.