Through the strong support of its global working group on rail research, the International Rail Research Board (IRRB), and its Strategic Document, UIC has initiated the creation of a portal dedicated to rail research and innovation worldwide.
Since December 2011, both the UIC research team and communications department have therefore worked together to develop this portal which aims to provide all stakeholders involved in rail research worldwide with both assistance in their daily work as well as a means of communicating their activities and successes.
UIC will launch Railway Research on the occasion of the High Speed Conference in Philadelphia on 9 July. This portal will be dedicated to all research activities carried out by UIC and its members around the world as well as to all stakeholders involved in rail innovation. In particular, this portal will provide information about rail research events, news about developments in R&D, descriptions of the activities of IRRB and their members, as well as information on special events such as Transport Research Arena (TRA), World Congress on Railway Research (WCRR), etc. The portal is intended to be an active tool and represents a great incentive for all our members in contributing to create a real global network for researchers and reinforce the rail community around research and innovation.
In addition, this portal will be supported through the partnership agreement between UIC and RSSB. RSSB, a member of the IRRB, carries out a broad range of activities which support the rail industry in Great Britain including managing shared standards, gathering and analysing safety data intelligence, and managing and delivering research and national programmes. Since 2011, RSSB has developed a web tool called SPARK for the benefit of its members, to share and find key information on publications, research projects and their deliverables, test facilities and contacts of rail researchers and centres of expertise. The partnership agreement signed between UIC and RSSB will give new international scope to SPARK and will make SPARK the global rail research platform for sharing information with, as a first step, the contribution of all IRRB members.
The launch of Railway Research, including SPARK, and the partnership between UIC and RSSB offer an important opportunity for the rail innovation and research community to enable a more efficient use of resources, share ideas amongst the regions, avoid duplication, develop innovative solutions to problems and identify topics for future collaborative research. It represents a unique opportunity to strengthen the rail research community and think globally about the future of railways.