Information published on 5 May 2021 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr eNews.

Interview with Asako Togari to mark her first mandate as Vice-Chair of the Standardisation Platform

  • Cooperation
  • Interview
  • IRS
  • Reporting
  • Standardisation

Asako Togari

Ms Togari, you have been heavily involved in the standardisation world for many years now. What have been the benefits to you, both professionally and personally?

I have had several excellent opportunities to become involved in standardisation with organisations such as ISO, IEC and UIC. These experiences have undoubtedly brought both professional and personal benefits to me. As a professional, I have gained deeper expertise in standardisation, which has thus become one of my career specialties. At a personal level, I am continuously discovering new things, which motivates and inspires me. I hope that all members involved in UIC standardisation have been able to reap the same benefits.

This is your first mandate as UIC Standardisation Platform Vice-Chair. What are your plans for your mandate?

I know that Simon, Célia and Laurent have made special efforts and have taken the initiative over the past several years to establish the fundamentals of standardisation at UIC. I am conscious that now is the time to move to the next stage, which is why the position of vice-chair was created. Many IRS working groups have already begun their activities and have succeeded in developing IRSs. In the next stage, raising awareness of the importance of standardisation and making it take root are absolutely vital. As well as developing IRSs from UIC leaflets, I believe that they will also have to be reviewed systematically to maintain high quality as a solution for the railway business over the next couple of years. I believe my duty as vice-chair is to support this shift toward the next stage of UIC standardisation.

What is UIC’s added value in terms of standardisation?

In terms of global standardisation, UIC standardisation is purely operator-oriented, meaning that it is focused on RUs and IMs. From this perspective, UIC is unique as an international standardisation body.

What are your objectives, priorities and goals for the next two years?

UIC standardisation has had an extraordinarily long history through the UIC leaflets. However, the new standardisation strategy using the IRS concept is still only beginning, I think. I believe that the task of the forum for the coming two years is to establish the IRS development process with transparency and to prioritise dissemination amongst all UIC members. We must respond to the UIC organisational strategy centered on standardisation. The Standardisation Platform’s goals will be to renew the UIC standardisation guidelines and to establish ethical guidelines, and so these are also my goals as vice-chair for the next two years. As additional goals, I hope to leverage my oriental background and my personal experience of ISO/IEC to contribute to UIC standardisation to the greatest extent possible.

How does standardisation strengthen cooperation between Asia and Europe?

Standardisation has great potential to strengthen ties between Asia and Europe. There are issues such as legal restrictions, perception of standardisation and historical circumstances in various countries, and these gaps can only be filled through standardisation activities. Mutual understanding of our respective backgrounds can help us to move forward.

How can standardisation be leveraged in innovative fields and to ensure timely inclusion of research and innovation results in standardisation activities?

My personal point of view is that not all research results can be included in standardisation immediately. Practical implementation and evidence of practical performance are required before standardisation can be initiated. Once some outcomes from research or innovation have been demonstrated, activities should move on to the phase of confirming practical applicability and performance.

How can standardisation boost dissemination of project results and ensure market uptake?

UIC projects are usually aimed at potential solutions to specific issues in practice. These must reflect the corresponding market needs or demands. Standardisation is one of the most effective ways of spreading project results in the mainstream.

How can UIC work more closely with ISO/IEC and CEN-CENELEC?

Regarding CEN-CENELEC, I have positive expectations for the activities of the newly established ESMG. The TSIs are complex and are vital for the EU, and ESMG activity will build new partnerships and facilitate progress. I think it will be difficult to achieve standards jointly developed by ISO/IEC and UIC. This is because of copyright issues and different rules for processing. On the other hand, the joint ISO/IEC-UIC working groups have provided an excellent opportunity to discuss topics for potential cooperation, as well as the framework for assigning individual roles for such topics. The outcomes from such activities may be attractive for potential users as standards.

For further information, please contact: standardisation@uic.org or Asako Togari at togari@japanrail.fr