The INESS General Assembly took place at UIC Paris on 16 December 2009. The Assembly was attended by approximately 50 participants including Consortium partners (representatives from the EU, the industry, railway stakeholders and the umbrella railways).
The meeting was opened by Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC General Director, who extended a warm welcome to all the participants and key speakers and highlighted the main developments which have taken place at UIC this year. He introduced Mr Emilio Maestrini as the new Director of the UIC Rail System department. Frans Heijnen (UNIFE) stressed the need to review the progress to date and to continue to make the project a success. Furthermore, he reaffirmed the message that all partners are striving for a win-win situation. A few words were then pronounced by the acting Chair Maarten Van Der Werff (ProRail), who agreed with Frans Heijnen on the importance of industry participation in the project.
Paolo De Cicco, INESS EU Coordinator, delivered the first presentation of the Assembly, outlining the progress made with the EC since the kick-off meeting in October 2008. He began by reminding all the participants of the main role of the General Assembly, that is, to provide a mechanism to make sure all parties are informed in detail of the activities undertaken, the progress made and any key issues that arise. He introduced the EC INESS project reviewers Marinna Berova and Bogdan Godziejewski. He later introduced Aline Wego as the new INESS Financial Project Manager and two new representatives from ProRail now working on the project: Lex Moscou and Paul Schreinmakers. The main message was with regard to the submission of certain key reports, in particular the Annual Management and Activity Reports, delivered to the Commission in December 2009 as planned. He informed the assembly that the 1st review meeting with the EC is due to be held on 20 January 2010 at UIC.
Emmanuel Buseyne, INESS Project Manager, reported on the progress that had been made during the course of the first year of the project. His presentation included a reminder of the objectives for the first year, a brief outline of the scope, concept and methodology of the project, the main achievements over the past year and an outline of the next main steps for each workstream. He was pleased to announce to the assembly that the project was on the right track and that fruitful collaboration should continue in the future.
The year 1 management reporting was given by Richard Vaux, representing the consulting group ALMA, who gave an outline of the achievements during the first year, and announced that the project was running to schedule. Aline Wego (UIC) and Celine Michel (ALMA), gave brief presentations on the financial and administrative issues and thanked the Consortium partners for their cooperation and contribution to the project.
Later in the morning presentations were made by Bernd Elsweiler (DB Netz) and Wendi Mennen (ProRail), leaders of Workstreams B and D respectively. The main goal of WS B (Business Case) was to analyse the economic effects of other workstreams. WS B has achieved the expected results of the first year and developed a methodology to evaluate the economic impact on LCC of all WS outcomes. The next main steps are to identify the costs drivers of the signalling systems.
WS D (Generic Requirements for ERTMS-Compliant Interlockings) reported on all the results achieved to date in the workstream, the guidelines which define the requirements environment and the verification and validation strategy having been established. The next step is to propose a common core of requirements and to integrate the ERTMS layer.
The meeting continued in the afternoon with progress reports by the WS leaders E (Functional Architecture and Interfaces), F (Testing and Commissioning), G (Safety Case Process) and H (Dissemination, Exploitation, Training and Coaching). Jorge Gamelas (BV), leader of WS E, which only recently started the work in accordance with the schedule set out in the DoW, reported on the main tasks of the WS, in particular drawing up the questionnaires, endeavouring to harmonise the interfaces and making the first steps toward functional architecture. WS E will continue to finalise the data collection and start designing the architecture.
Ian Harman (Network Rail), leader of WS F, spoke of the new plan drawn up for M1-M12 involving a simpler revised data gathering method. He expressed his hopes that the plan would bring new results. The next steps of WS F will be to write a state-of-the-art report explaining the relevant testing and commissioning activities in INESS in the various domains of application.
Carsten Trog (Funkwerk-IT), leader of WS G, reported on the tasks and results of his workstream. The safety case process has been modelled and definition of short-term and long-term goals to build a tool has been carried out. WS G work will continue in the same vein by writing the system and software specification for support tool.
The final presentation was given by Maria Lafont (UIC), WS H leader. The presentation included a report on the development of dissemination and communication tools. The work plan for the next six months will include setting up an INESS publication strategy, organising stakeholder and supplier workshops and continued representation of the INESS project at major conferences and fairs.
A brief question and answer session followed before the assembly gave its full endorsement to the progress of the project and to the support of the Steering Board and the management team. Closing remarks were then made by the Chairman, the INESS Coordinator and the UNIFE representative. They expressed their warm thanks to all the participants for having attended the assembly and announced the date of the INESS GA, which is due to be held on 25 November 2010.