The International Union of Railways (UIC) and the Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation (ACRI), Australia, signed in Berlin a Memorandum of Cooperation on 19 September 2016 which will substantially boost industry and government access to rail research on a global level. The Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation (ACRI) has been a UIC Member since 2014 and participates in all the work done in the framework of the UIC Asian-Pacific region.
The agreement was signed by the Director-General of UIC, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux and the Executive Director of ACRI, Vicki Brown.
The organisations will share information about research being undertaken by both organisations, including detailed synopses of projects. This cooperation will help prevent duplication and provide opportunities for co-operation. Where intellectual property rights permit, the two will also share the results of their research.
Mr Loubinoux said: “The cooperation between the UIC and ACRI is not based on financial contribution from one to the other but relies on in-kind contributions.” He followed by saying: “UIC and ACRI members will no doubt face similar problems and challenges in the future even if there will be some inevitable differences in research application.”
Under the agreement, the UIC will provide ACRI non-confidential research and innovation-related content, after permission from the member(s) concerned, and also full details of research where possible. This will be added to the ACRI Rail Knowledge Bank. The Knowledge Bank is a well-used and easy-to-navigate database for rail professionals and industry, which has annually more than 31,000 visits and 21,000 file downloads. It contains research reports, conference papers, presentations and other relevant material. UIC will provide a link to the ACRI Rail Knowledge Bank site from its site.
Both parties will facilitate contact and collaboration between researchers. ACRI and UIC have many shared objectives.
Ms Brown said: “Part of ACRI mission is to provide innovative solutions to improve productivity and support the competitive position of the Australian and New Zealand rail industry. Adding past, present and future UIC research to ACRI Rail Knowledge Bank will enhance the already information-rich website, which covers every aspect of rail (and related wider transport).
Providing this access will be of enormous economic value to rail operators, suppliers and customers, managers, and transport economists, to name a few.”
Mr Loubinoux added: “UIC promotes interoperability, the creation of new world standards for railways, and international cooperation among its members as well as sustainable transport development.”
Both agree that the organisations have a shared vision to propose new ways to improve technical and environmental performance of rail transport.