November 13th marked the dated of the 16th UIC Research Coordination Group meeting. The most important issues on the agenda were the issues of the 3rd and 4th Call for Proposals of the Transport theme of the European Commissions’ 7th Framework Program for Research.
3rd Call for Proposals
The RCG members have been strongly involved in collecting the UIC members’ research needs and priorities, defending and discussing them within the ERRAC structure and drafting elements for the detailed topic description for the EC’s 3rd Call for Proposals. The 3rd Call opened on July 14th and the submission of project proposals is possible until January 14th 2010. A budget of around 25 Million Euro is available to fund railway research projects.
Members of the RCG are involved in the preparation of at least 6 research projects, together with other major stakeholders in European rail transport. ERRAC closely follows the progress.
With UIC and/or its members’ involvement, projects on the following topics are being prepared:
• Attenuation of ground-borne vibration affecting residents near railway lines – proposal name RIVAS
• Fast implementation of innovative/effective rail technologies to improve rail freight services – proposal name MARATHON
• Minimizing the risk of fatigue failure of railway axles – proposal name EURAXLES
• Automated and cost effective railway infrastructure maintenance – AUTOMAIN
• The sustainable freight railway: Designing the freight vehicle – track system for higher delivered tonnage with improved availability at reduced cost – proposal name SUSTRAIL
• Step changes in rail freight logistics: new technologies and methods to increase freight competitiveness in the emerging low density, high value market – no proposal name chosen yet
• Safety and security by design in transport stations and terminals
For some of the projects plans already exist to form an advisory group or “rail reference groups” consisting of interested members.
The above mentioned proposals are the preferred proposals of the UIC Research Coordination Group. In case you are interested to know more about the projects under preparation and perhaps even would like to contribute to them, please contact Dennis Schut – EU research manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. +32 2 2130832
4th Call for Proposals
As usual, the European commission has requested the European Rail Research Advisory Council – ERRAC to advise the EC on the research needs for the 4th Call, which will be published in July 2010. During the summer, the UIC-RCG has assembled a list of UIC members’ research needs, in close cooperation with the PTR and other UIC bodies and Departments. The prioritised list of research issues has been the basis of discussion in the Work Package teams of the ERRAC Roadmap project, which designs the annual Roadmaps for European rail Research and advises the European Commission.
ERRAC has sent his first advice in the form of 10 research priority “headlines” to the Commission on October 29th. During the RCG 16 meeting, the group discussed about the draft detailed descriptions for these 4th Call Topic headlines to make sure that all elements of importance to the UIC members are covered by the description. Meanwhile, the discussion goes on within the ERRAC Roadmap WP teams and in coordination between the UIC, UNIFE and the WP leaders, 3 of which are UIC members (SNCF, Banverket and Network Rail) while in the WP teams, other UIC members are closely involved. The finalised 4th Call topics and their detailed description will be decided upon on December 15th by the ERRAC Extended Support Group and sent to the European Commission.
If you want to be informed about the draft 4th Call research topics and detailed description, please take up contact with Dennis Schut at email@example.com or tel. +32 2130832. Your suggestion and contributions are welcomed but the timeframe is limited.
The UIC Research Coordination Group intends to service all UIC members and is open to all members interested in rail research issues, the organisation and funding thereof for the UIC members and research cooperation.
The next UIC-RCG meeting will be held in early 2010. A UIC seminar on research coordination and cooperation – planned for spring 2010 in Paris – is under preparation. You will be informed in due time.