On the subject of this coordination of research projects at European level Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, says:
“We are pleased to see UIC’s ability to coordinate complex projects such as these, which is increasingly recognised by the European Commission’s DG Research. UIC is pleased to deploy its technical expertise to meet this sensitive and significant challenge. I would like to emphasise the interest which our members can gain from this recognition of our professionalism, both technically and in terms of professional financial and administrative management. This position corresponds to the goal I set in 2009 at the General Assembly.”
The number of EU co-funded projects with UIC’s participation has constantly increased over the past few years. This indicates that UIC has been progressively recognised as a professional platform and a reliable contributor on behalf of its members, especially with regard to technical/research issues that benefit their interests.
The key aspect of the European added value is the multi-state applicability of many actions: research projects are carried out by consortia which include participants from different European (and other) countries. There are currently 28 projects in which the UIC team is engaged. UIC is the Coordinator of 6 of them (RIVAS, MAINLINE, RESTRAIL, SATLOC, the recently approved CAPACITY4RAIL and FOSTER RAIL) and also involved as a partner in 22 other consortia with either ongoing or under application status, the assigned tasks being in Technical Research, Dissemination and also in Project Management and Coordination.
The EU projects carried out by UIC are mainly part of the 6th and 7th Framework Programmes (FP6 and FP7), but the experience acquired during the past four years now enables UIC to manage other types of projects too, in cooperation with the Commission’s various General Directorates (DG) and agencies such as TEN-T and GNSS.
At the end of the FP7 programme that has been running for seven years from 2007 until 2013, UIC is ready to commit itself, for the benefit of its members and the whole railway community, to the incoming projects to be started within Europe 2020. The first Call for Proposals in the field of Transport within the Horizon 2020 programme will be open from 11 December with the EC Info Day on 18 December. 52 million euros have been allocated for three big rail topics on infrastructure, smart systems, rolling stock and logistics, etc.