E.R.C.I. European Railway Cluster Initiative. First intercluster initiative joining, currently, the 9 principal technological clusters across EU.
Nine European R&I driven clusters focused on Railways, mobility and multimodality, have gathered together and commit to develop common strategies to enhance EU Railway technological prevalence trough cluster-to-cluster cooperation and involvement of the common values chains, enlarging the SME capacity to reach to business and EU railway projects. Up-to date members are: i-Trans : Northern France, BTS : Verbund Initiative Bahntechnik Sachsen – Germany, CNA : Cluster Bahntechnik Bavaria – Germany, TSB : Innovationsagentur Berlin GmbH – Geschäftsbereich, Verkehr und Mobilität – Germany, RTCA : Railway Technology Cluster Austria – Austria, Railgrup : Rail Industry Cluster of Catalonia – Spain, Rail Alliance : West Midlands – UK, Southern Railway Cluster – Poland. Ditecfer : Distretto per le Tecnologie Ferroviarie – Italy.Our successes in our regions can become an asset for Europe if we work together and trust each other; if we set up joint projects and are involved and contribute to the major European initiatives, including SMEs, align them to Shift2Rail, having signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UNIFE to help develop this JTI, also to H2020 and to the value chain of the main innovation railway initiatives across EU, as for instance the ones derived from EU White Paper 2011.Our next targets related to extend the current cooperation agreement to important European railway countries. Find a pragmatic way within H2020 to fund our actions. Coordinate with existing platforms and networks (ERRAC, UNIFE, EURNEX, UIC,…). Work on the mainstream of Horizon 2020, on Shift²Rail and bring our contribution (embark SME’s, make tools and platforms available). Speed-up coordination, communication and boost big companies to work together with SMEs and research institutes on close-to-market projects.
Creation of a standard methodology to optimize the Internationalization process of Cluster Members.
Technological cooperation seems to be used as one differentiating factor of competitiveness that could be better worked out by means of a cluster activity. Many rail companies are still reliant on legacy systems that are not able to support them in implementing operational changes as quickly as their commercial strategies demand. A first set of actions to develop a practical externalization of the offer should lean on a diagnosis of the sector and their needs in terms of market and, geographical targets. This internationalization methodology first-of-all implies an step of market intelligence, that is about ascertaining markets of interest, survey, definition, analysis of opportunities and selection of local agent capable of showing expertise in Railway market at origin, distinguishing SME impacts and non-SME impacts. A plenary presentation to selected companies together with the local representatives at origin. Search of fund availabilities, support actions as with Booth attendance to Expos, Cluster manager travelling with the group as expert support, lecturing a conference at specific events, presentation of companies, B2Bs support, support to the specific an selective B2Bs agendas for each one of the members in the IA are organized and managed. A specific follow up of actions is also provided for every company at the IA. These includes follow up of agendas or projects at origin, subsidiaries start up, legal and tax assessment, Request For Proposal (RFP) follow up, etc.
This methodology has allowed the cluster to joint approx. 25 % of their membership in Internationalization activities, being this methodology selected to be analysed as a standard one to the rest of the clusters placed in Catalonia, and defined as complementary to the ones existing at national level, having been defined as “Boutique Internationalization Methodology”.
Intercluster Innovation Office. A platform to technological cooperation and projects
Market, sectors and people are the drivers of innovation. Attitude towards innovation is the common ground. We started to analyse the potential capabilities and competences related to rail service of the principal clusters based in Catalonia and some of non-based, as EU ones from the ERCI initiative, or the Norway systems. A complete set of actions were set around this process of Open Innovation: selective match-making, between cluster managers from different sectors, specific and methodological well set workshops, etc. After 2 years of this methodology, 7 potential projects have been set. And one more has been presented to the main train Operator in Spain. One related to create a “LudiTrain”, coping with the specific needs of families travelling with their kids, now being evaluated by main City and Intercity local Train Operator Company. A Smart Train pluridisciplinar Committee between Operators, Engineering companies, Railgrup Cluster and Logistics has been created to analyse and get real implementation of the smart concept into new generation of trains. From the Tech-Centres MMaking two solutions for improving the problems coming weathering of Rail infrastructure using acoustics pulse beam and decoders, causing potential severe and critical safety problems to Train Operation. Use of ultrasonic lasers and correspondent decoders a double solution for wheel and bogies weathering is being on trial with Metropolitan Operator of BCN. A full survey of packaging solutions based upon end users’ needs and considering a total environmental impact of packaging along the life cycle of the packaging is being considered to be applied. A device called “HappyClick” has been developed by means of Intercluster Innovation Office (I.I.O.) methodology between the Agricultural Cluster and Railway Cluster and is able to transfer on-line information about specific quiz/surveys/audits/check-out in trains. A clear example of the fact open innovation is about people, the rest is technology. Next steps are related to extend the degree of using of this Intercluster Innovation Office (I.I.O.) initiative, addressing new topics, adding new clusters capabilities and a proper structure in terms of funds and resources, being that perhaps the most difficult step to put into work.
First E.R.C.I. Innovation Constest.
European Railway Cluster Initiative (E.R.C.I.) joining, currently, the 10 principal technological clusters across EU,promoted the First EU intercluster initiative related to an Innovation Contest allowing SME to get to cooperate along EU and launch innovative initiatives related to product and services for the railway industry.
ERCI in brief: Ten European R&I driven clusters focused on Railways, mobility and multimodality, have gathered together and commit to develop common strategies to enhance EU Railway technological prevalence trough cluster-to-cluster cooperation and involvement of the common values chains, enlarging the SME capacity to reach to business and EU railway projects. Up-to date members are: i-Trans : Northern France, BTS : Verbund Initiative Bahntechnik Sachsen – Germany, CNA : Cluster Bahntechnik Bavaria – Germany, TSB : Innovationsagentur Berlin GmbH – Geschäftsbereich, Verkehr und Mobilität – Germany, RTCA : Railway Technology Cluster Austria – Austria, Railgrup : Rail Industry Cluster of Catalonia – Spain, Rail Alliance : West Midlands – UK, Southern Railway Cluster – Poland. Ditecfer : Distretto per le Tecnologie Ferroviarie – Italy and the Sweden Vastera.
This technological cooperation across Europe, joined efforts and resources to promote the 2015 ERCI Innovation Awards. The awards are intended to promote innovations implemented by enterprises to meet the needs of the railway sector in Europe, freight and passengers. The Awards are organized by ERCI (European Railway Clusters Initiative), the European network of Innovative Railway Clusters. Two categories of enterprises will be awarded: one SME and one big company.
ERCI organized the event at the BCN Rail Expo November 2015, with the attendance of Director of Infraestructure of FGC and some other authorities: We are pleased to invite you to join the 1st ERCI Innovation Awards, event that will take place the 17th of November of 2015 at the Railgrup booth C322 in BcnRail 2015, the most important international railway event in southern Europe.
Our successes in our regions can become an asset for Europe if we work together and trust each other; if we set up join projects and are involved and contribute to the major European initiatives, including SMEs, align them to the innovation that Railway sector need to be close to the final user, key factor to be effective in mobility patterns for passengers and freight, as EU White Paper 2011 signalled: seem less operation across Europe.
Success Why?: Join efforts at EU level to cooperate In terms of Railway technological innovation can promote the clusters and committed members brand as technology differentiation through cooperation
From a Cluster Project to a Business Company; RAILSA-Promaut Group.
Commission of i+D+R of Railgrup selected some projects with a high capacity of coping with important and unresolved problems that affects railway operations. Safety, reliability, maintenance and energy efficiency have been the general topics that put fire at wheel of the Commission. By applying Railgrup scheme of selection of projects, some “finalist” rose up. One of them was SDO-Detection of Falling Objects on Track. A new technology to detect the presence of objects and people in the train tracks satisfying the strict requirements of railway standards. The huge population growth in the cities requires improving the public transport with the aim to service the growing demand. The cities demand more pass frequency, more punctuality and more safety. Definitely, a better service. So the solution to this problem is the train automation. SDO is the solution to prepare all kind of stations to this automation process without service affectation. Reduced cost than other systems like platform screen doors. Implementation without service affectation. Ready to install in both new and old stations. No structural requirements are necessary. Easy scalable systems in which different After more than 25 years’ experience PROMAUT S.L. is positioned in the industrial world as an electrical/mechanical engineering company specialized in automation, control and process surveillance, being able to offer technological solutions to customer complete value chain, from R&D and engineering to implementation and monitoring (simulation, electrical engineering, PLC1S programming, robots and SCADAs, electrical installation, maintenance and technical service).technologies can be integrated. Low cost solution to automate a line. Promaut was selected as winner of IESE business school case studies’ 2014, one of the main reasons was Promaut’s capacity to detect new opportunities to develop business from projects developed by SME in a Cluster nest. Promaut decided to create Railsa, a NewCo of the Group, destined to develop the project SDO.
Success Why?: Projects arisen from Cluster activities to committed members can be catalysed to business, not just development projects.
First Park&Ride Intercluster Charge of Electrical Vehicles in Railways Stations in Catalunya.
Market, sectors and people are some of the drivers of innovation. Railgrup Cluster, strategically driven by end user oriented innovation in mobility terms, started to analyse the potential capabilities and competences of the principal clusters based in Catalonia related to rail services to passengers and their mobility. As mentioned in the EU White Paper 2011, multimodality is one the patterns to follow in terms of seem less operation in order to cope with efficient uses of the whole set of mobility modes available. This is the scheme that a passenger bears in mind: once decision to mobility is made, for the passenger the challenge is to sort out an optimum solution for the trip from point A (departure from initial destination, from home, workplace, etc) to point B (arrival to final destination). Fulfilling and acomplishing the contents of their mobility pattern and needs, as IDEO states in their auto mobility concept http://automobility.ideo.com/ .Electrical vehicles mobility solutions are part of these multimodal schemes applied to satisfy end-user needs. These solutions could be part of the environmentally friendly schemes to be held as paradigm of mobility. They need of chargers close to their intermodal areas or in the intermodal car park of Railway stations. Parkings with easy access as park%charge&go type are needed too, and strategically selected places close to the main intermodal hubs to commute to the city being in charge of Railway Operorator, sensitive to end-user needs, committed to sustainable mobility schemes and practical in terms of multimodal uses of mobility. So as Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya, FGC, one of the best 15 Railways Operators in the world, following a report from the Imperial College of UK. So then to cope with to these goals two Catalonian clusters the Cluster of Eficiencia Energética de Catalunya (CEEC) , the Railway Cluster (Railgrup), the Department of Medi Ambient of the Generalitat de Catalunya,Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC), leader of the project, the Associació Volt-Tour, and some large and SME companies, as SIMON, ImesAPI I EMPARK, join efforts to design, develop and put into work the first 7 park & rides facilities in Catalunya to ease access to new mobility schemes. You arrive to the railway operator parking close to the station, plug your electrical car or bike and it will charged while you commute to train proceeding to the city and you will find your vehicle fully charged when you return from your work day. Conversely, you may have an electrical vehicle at your disposal when you visit these villages out of town along the weekend, a Transit and multimodality oriented development. They have been the 7 first Park&Ride facilities in Catalunya, an intercluster end-user oriented innovation project.
Success Why?: Cluster should focus towards new strategical scenarios of better capability to expand and diversify business and technological projects of higher competitiveness to their current members and also for new incomers.