Rail transport faces huge present and future challenges for which innovation and step changes are necessary. As UIC’s overall mission is to promote an increased use of rail transport at world level and to help members make rail transport more attractive, effective, sustainable and economically viable, the General Assemblies have brought their strong support to the ambitious programme of UIC’s International Railway Research Board (IRRB), as well as its initiative to set up the UIC Rail Research & Innovation Awards. The first two editions of the Awards took place in 2012 and 2014.
Late November 2016 will be the occasion of the third edition of the award ceremony for the UIC Global Research & Innovation Awards.
Through these Awards, UIC aims to support and promote:
- The development of theoretical, experimental and applied research in railway transport
- The development process of international cooperation in this field
- The promotion and attraction of leading experts from different countries, research institutes, universities, railway operators, infrastructure managers, railway suppliers, passenger transport organisations, governmental bodies in charge of transport and individual researchers to address the most important problems and challenges of modern railways
- The global recognition of the role of individual researchers and research groups in order to establish rail as the sustainable backbone of the transportation system which is cost-efficient, reliable, safe and secure and will therefore become the mode of choice for passengers and freight forwarders
As well as to:
- Support and encourage gifted young researchers, stimulate their research work in the sphere of railway transport, prepare a new generation of researchers, lay the foundations for future innovative development of railway transport and attract young researchers in the sphere of railway transport as well as to support the creation of favourable conditions for scientific discoveries and innovative achievements involving young researchers
And to honour those persons who have spent their lifetime trying to innovate and improve the railway system and its services – the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The first official award ceremony was held in Paris on the occasion of the UIC General Assembly on 11 December 2012, also celebrating 90 years of the founding of UIC and international cooperation between members within our association.
In the autumn of 2015, the UIC started communicating the 3rd Call for applications for the Award. Submissions can be uploaded to the dedicated UIC hosted website http://uic-innovation-awards.org/ until 1 September 2016.
Applications for the UIC Innovation Awards are being invited from rail transport operators, infrastructure managers, rail research institutes and academia specialising in rail research, the rail supply industry, passenger transport (user-)organisations, public transport authorities as well as individual researchers. Any organisation or individual which feel they have contributed to the innovation of the railway system through their research activities are welcome to apply. There is one condition: the results of the research project need to have been tested, demonstrated and proven beneficial in actual service.
Submissions for the UIC Innovation Awards for rail research leading to innovations with proven implementation can be entered under six categories. These are:
- Safety & Security (incl. signalling issues)
- Sustainable Development (incl. energy, noise, vibration, emission issues)
- Rail System Technology (rolling stock, infra-structure and interaction)
- Rail Freight Services
- Customer Services (incl. new business models)
- Cost Reduction (increasing competitiveness)
As mentioned above, there are two other honorary categories: “Young Researchers” and “Lifetime Achievement”.
Applicants are requested to submit their application by using the standard online format which can be found on the dedicated UIC website http://uic-innovation-awards.org/
Additional information can be forwarded via e-mail to the address of the IRRB secretariat, firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 31 August 2016!
When selecting the laureates for the Awards the jury will base its decisions on the following criteria:
- Innovation should be of industry-wide nature (should be able to be applied globally)
- Innovation should lead to the increase in efficiency or cost reductions for the railway companies
- The innovation should have a clear practical and demonstrated value
The jury will consist of members of the International Railway Research Board (IRRB) (comprising high-level representatives of the leading railway research institutes around the world) with the advice of technical experts from their organisation.
The winners in each of the six categories will be invited to the UIC Rail Research & Innovation Award ceremony in St-Petersburg (tbc) and will be offered the official Award and certificate as well as prize money. In addition, the winners of the two honorary categories will be invited to the ceremony to receive their award and certificate of honour.