The HERMES project is part of the 4th call of proposals under the 7th European Framework Programme. The project aims to develop closer and more effective communication between researchers working in the field of transport technologies in the EU and their counterparts around the world, by facilitating the exchange of information and developing a framework for long-term collaboration.
The project, coordinated by the University of Newcastle (Newrail), brings together the WEGEMT foundation (European association of universities carrying out research in marine technology), the European Aeronautics Science Network, Euromobilita (SME specialised in IT with expertise in transport) and UIC. It also relies on the association and active support of the Transportation Research Board (USA), the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (Australia) and the Institute of Transport Economics (Japan).
HERMES will be achieved through the establishment of a common portal for accessing information from databases of past and ongoing research projects worldwide, in collaboration with database managers worldwide. As part of these activities HERMES will seek to obtain agreement for a harmonisation of database architectures, so that information can be accessed easily by researchers worldwide.
A second aspect of the HERMES project is to engage the major players in transport research worldwide and bring them together in round table discussions to address the obstacles and concerns that restrict closer international collaboration in transportation R&D and provide a list of recommendations that will allow the creation of a truly global transport research community.
Frank Smit, representing the European Commission, underlined the importance of HERMES as part of the Innovation Union and how it will represent added value in achieving the Horizon 2020 goals of smart, green and integrated transport, as well as forming part of European science diplomacy.
As the body responsible for the data compilation, UIC will have to submit its deliverable by May 2012. From the railways’ standpoint, the HERMES project represents an important opportunity, being bound to the set-up of a global rail research portal. This initiative, led by UIC, aims at providing the public and all the stakeholders involved in rail research worldwide with a database comprising ongoing or achieved projects regarding rail research from around the world. It will also include test facilities, project evaluations, and last but not least, it also aims at creating an online global network for rail researchers.
UIC therefore expects the strong support and cooperation of its members on these two main issues, which will represent major benefits in the future of transport research, especially for rail, through a more efficient use of resources in order to convey ideas from one region to another, develop innovative solutions to transport problems and identify topics for future collaborative research.