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Review of Horizon 2020 Work Programmes: Collaboration Opportunities with the Rail Industry, 30 October 2015

Held at RSSB, at The Helicon, 1 South Place, London, the Review of Horizon 2020 Work Programmes & Collaboration Opportunities with the Rail Industry was chaired and opened by Martin Brennan, RSSB’s Senior Research Policy Manager.

This information event was held to disseminate information about the opportunities available through Horizon 2020, and also for 73 attendees to make new connections and network for potential partners.

Horizon 2020 is an EU Research and Innovation programme with nearly €80 billion of funding available over seven years (2014 to 2020). This is in addition to private investment that funds will attract and promises an increase in breakthroughs, discoveries and ‘world-firsts’ by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.



KTN and what it does for the rail industry - Susan Perriam

Susan emphasised KTN’s role in establishing connections, including across industries. She also noted the information day as her final rail event as she is to take up a role as Smart Specialisation Hub Lead at KTN to help forge better links between businesses, universities, investors through a new Smart Specialisation Hub.

Presentation by Susan Perriam





European Engagement for Rail Technical Strategy Delivery - Guy Woodroffe, Guy Woodroofe, National Rail

The Rail Technical Strategy sets targets for the railway industry in the thirty years to 2040 - specifically, to half carbon emissions, double capacity and half costs, while improving customer experience.

It provides a defined strategy to achieve this vision, and looked at other strategies - including taking account of Shift2Rail, and has influenced that too.

Future Rail/RSSB is also offering funding to help increase rail capacity and reliability through the following competitions, including:

Presentation by Guy Woodroffe


Rail Opportunities in Horizon 2020 outside of the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking - Mark Gaddes, FutureRail


Mark Gaddes started with an update on Shift2Rail, a part of the Smart, integrated transport societal challenge wishing Horizon 2020.

Shift2Rail is a seven year, €920m collaborative research and innovation programme, for which Network Rail is a founder member along with Siemens, Bombardier, Alstom, Ansaldo, CAF, TrV, & Thales.

Associate Members have been selected from a second stage call and are in negotiation to join the joint undertaking - 19 candidate Associate Members have been selected

The Shift2Rail Strategic Masterplan has been published, with five “Innovation Programmes” to output products at TRL7/8. The European commission will provide 47% of the members funding, spread over up to 7 years, with 30% allocated to open calls, up to 100% funded but subject to normal H2020 rules. The first Open Call for the annual work programme for 2015/16 is to be issued on 16 December – subject to approval. This will present opportunities for sub-contracting.

Mark stated that National Rail will be too busy. Most of these calls will be multi-modal of which rail will be only part, so it won’t be leading any of these projects.

H2020 Lighthouse projects

Horizon 2020 already has three calls opened in 2014”

  • MG-2.1-2014 - IN2Rail (635900) Innovative Intelligent Rail
  • MG-2.3-2014 - Roll2Rail (636032) New dependable rolling stock for a more sustainable, intelligent and comfortable rail transport in Europe
  • MG-2.2-2014 – IT2RAIL (636078) Information Technologies for Shift to Rail

2016 call topics to be announced

The forthcoming calls that have been identified as relevant to rail interest arise ICT (from the Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies within Industrial Leadership) and from the Societal Challenges of Secure, clean and efficient energy; Smart, green and integrated transport and Secure societies challenges.

Specific calls within these topics are listed in Mark’s presentation.

Presentation by Mark Gaddes

Andrew Traill, Transport Systems Catapult

Transport Systems Catapult’s target is for the UK to gain 10% of the expected €900BN world intelligent market.

Andrew characterised the rail network as, “when it works - it works well. When it goes wrong - it goes seriously wrong, as people feel stuck.”

Intelligent Mobility can help rail by providing information to customers, improving safety and efficiency through automation, and by providing increased capacity.

Presentation by Andre Traill



Elevator pitch session - introduced by Mark Matchett, KTN

Mark Matchett (KTN’s Manager for Road & Automotive) introduced the KTN, Horizons Tool, and the first round of presenters.

Presentation by Mark Matchett








Chris Taylor, Axon Automotive

Axon is a composites materials company, focused on cost-effective volume manufacture. Its products are suited to crash protection and lightweighting applications.

Axon’s Patented carbon fibre technology – Axontex has a cellular structure.

Axon is hoping to support rolling stock with lower energy consumption, snd to use its experience in design and finite element analysis.

Elevator Pitch Axon Automotive

Peter Hansen, Element Materials Technology Hitchen

Element Materials has 51 labs in north America, where it is the largest lab testing company.

It offers testing capabilities, involvement in a European programme on self-healing of nano-structures, expertise in characterisation of composites including an Innovate UK project involving Cable Carrying and Acoustically Damped Thermoplastic Sleepers (resulting from the 2011 Accelerating Innovation in Rail - CR&D competition).

Elevator Pitch: Element

Neil Smith, Guidance Rail

Guidance Rail is an engineering-led high tech provider of position determination technologies and systems. Its systems are used for improving people safety and the asset management of infrastructure operators and train operating companies.

Its expertise is in laser and radar and augmented reality, with further applications in Marine, Factory Automation (auto), and medical sectors.

It has won four Horizon 2020 & Innovate UK Competitions for funding for rail in the last two years, including the High speed railway asset mapping system using enhanced 3D imaging and automated visual analytics and the TrackSafe - Trackworker Safety projects.

The company is interested in parting with infrastructure operators, tier 1 suppliers and other SMEs.

Guidance Rail interest is working in radar detection of obstacles and laser/vision/augmented mapping of assets using its technology to monitor rail workers trackside.

The market opportunity it has identified is obstacle detection at level crossings; plus moving asset mapping from inspection trains to service trains and improving safety for rail workers.

Elevator Pitch: Guidance Rail

Shahid Mughal, Innovtek

Innovtek is a technology engineering SME established in 2010, that specialises in ICT. It’s competencies are in modeling & control and embedded systems.

It is looking to collaborate with industrial and research partners in safety, robotics and internet of things related projects.

Elevator Pitch: Innovtek

Nick Boot-Handford, Transport for London

London Underground is looking to use the 25MW of waste heat it produces, by running pipes of chilled water through tunnels to capture the waste heat (as in the Channel Tunnel) for end uses such as in district heating.

It is looking to fund a trial and for partners in pipe technology, applications for waste heat and commercialisation.

Elevator Pitch: London Underground

Alan Baird, May & Schofield Electronics

May & Schofield is a privately owned, Basingstoke-based, electronics company, that designs and manufactures electronic products and systems for the automotive, defence, industrial and rail markets. It supplies control systems to Bentley and for use in taxis.

It is looking to provide PCB and control systems in the rail sector.

Elevator Pitch: May & Schofield

Michael De Pedesta, NPL

NPL is the UK National Measurement Institute. According to Michael,“You cannot do risk management unless you do measurements. We offer measurement expertise”.

Previous rail projects include: Digital Imaging for Condition Asset Management (DIFCAM).

NPL is looking for partners in the rail industry with expertise in maintenance of rail infrastructure and risk-based management.

Elevator Pitch NPL

Dapo Ogunmuyiwa, Ogunmuyiwa Motormentechnik GmbH

Dapo Ogunmuyiwa offers an internal combustion engine design design concept claimed to offer 74% indicated thermal efficiency. The engine cylinder axes are arranged tangentially to a circle centred on the main shaft axis, enabling combustion during the compression stroke of the cycle without damaging the engine.

He is looking to collaborate with train manufacturers towards meeting the Stage IIIB & Stage IV emissions requirements.

Elevator Pitch Ogunmuyiwa Motorentechnik GmbH


RRUKA on rail industry innovations - Stuart Hillmansen, University of Birmingham/RRUKA

Stuart Hillmansen is co-chair of The Rail Research UK Association (RRUKA), founded by RSSB and National Rail as partnership between industry and UK universities. It has 49 institutional members and 350 individual members, and a brand spectrum of activities.

“UK universities do well at EU funding. Each has a dedicated resource to help. There’s a lot off overhead and it can be daunting to apply for Horizon 2020 funning but universities can take a lot of the load.”

Presentation by Stuart Hillmansen


Introduction to Horizon 2020 - Louise Mothersole, Innovate UK

Louise Mothersole - The UK National contact point for Horizon 2020 - provided some background a terminology explanation for the novice for helping navigate calls in this European funding programme.

Horizon 2020 is the largest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion available over seven years (2014 to 2020), with an emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges.

Funding provisionally available through Open Competition in 2016/2017 relevant to the Rail Sector includes:

  • Shift2Rail (~€120m)
  • Mobility for Growth (€210.1m/€225.5m) – in calls relating to Aviation, Waterborne, Safety, Urban Mobility, Logistics, Intelligent Transport Systems, Infrastructure and Socio Economic and Behavioural Research and Forward Looking Activities for Policy Making.
  • Small Business Instrument (€57.8m/€61.2m).

The submission process is online via the Participant Portal.

Presentation by Louise Mothersole

Second round of Elevator Pitches - chaired by Mark Matchett, KTN

Stephan Posland, Queen Mary University Centre for Intelligent Sensing

Queen Mary University Centre is active in transport communications, sensing, data analysis and risks analysis. It is looking to partner with rail service operators and rail user communities for improved customer experience, better informed rail travellers about end-to-end journeys, better incentivised rail travellers and improved information about passenger movement for rail operators.

Elevator Pitch: QMUL

Rod Fox, Revaluetech

Revaluetech’s innovation is a proven process technology to produce consistent products to be made from mixed plastic waste. These composites could replace concrete sleepers and barriers.

Elevator Pitch: Revaluetech Ltd

Antu N'jai, SharpCloud Software

Sharpcloud is a visual communication software product designed for business to assist with project collaboration. It offers visual collaboration software to the rail industry, government and manufacturers. It is designed to communicate technical strategy in a persistent and appealing way.

The company is looking to partner for planning and delivering the H2020 programme.

Elevator Pitch: SharpCloud

Vukan Polimac, Chief Engineer, UKPN Services

UK Power Networks is involved in energy storage; such as regenerative breaking on AC and DC railways, and implementation of IEC61850 on AC and DC systems.

It is looking to capture power opportunities for HS2.

Elevator Pitch: UKPN Services

Rob Alexander, University of York

University of York can offer large-scale system modelling, automotive engineering, and safety and security assurance.

Its has been involved in RSSB projects including ‘Failure Modelling for Railway Signalling Systems and ‘Security-Informed Safety’.

Elevator Pitch: York University

Darren Hughes, WMG

Dr Darren Hughes is an Assistant Professor in Materials and Manufacturing at WMG. He is currently engaged in a number of multi-material projects with partners including Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Steel.

Research Interests include: application of advanced joining technology; Light-weighting of structures; New joining process development; Experimental assessment of residual stress in engineering materials/components; and Materials Science using Neutron and Synchrotron X-rays.

Current projects include: Enhanced stiffness of low gauge AHSS structures using CFRPEPSRC Industrial Case AwardRP 1343; High Volume Lightweight Technologies for Vehicle Structures (HiLiTe) and Revolution Very Light Rail.


Kenny Gallagher, Greengineering


Greengineering is an engineering R&D company specialising in clean tech. Its idea is a system to harvest thermal energy from diesel engines, and then convert this into useful energy for use on or off the vehicle.

Possible use cases for captured waste heat include depot heating/hot water, train washing, pre-heating driver cabin, pre-heating engine - in for example bus garages and train stations.

Elevator Pitch: Greengineering Limited

Siraj Ali, Vertex Systems Engineering

Vertex Systems Engineering provides Safety, Systems and Project Delivery services, in particular in transportation. The company was formed in 2003 from the systems engineering group of AMCL.


Additional presentations

Digital Railway – Integrating Technology into Systems - Simon Scott, Principal Systems Architect, Digital Railway

To match predicted demands of the rail network, ‘we need to be ready for 1 Billion more rail journeys. Infrastructure expansion is too slow. Digital innovation available today can tackle the fundamental barriers to more effective capacity on a cheaper, more reliable railway.’

In his Presentation, Simon Scott described an ‘Enterprise Architecture’ model to help understand how benefits relate to system performance.




Horizon 2020 Topics of Interest to Rail Sector, Louise Mothersole

For her second presentation, the UK National Contact Point for Transport for Horizon 2020, Louise Mothersole provided more details of the specific calls relevant to the rail sector.


Shift2Rail calls for proposals are due to be published on 16 December (23 December at latest), with a three month window for proposal preparation to towards the end of March 2016.

The calls are likely to include Research Innovation Actions on: threat detection and profile protection definition for cyber security assessment (€1.5m); IT virtualisation of testing environment (€1 million); Technical specifications of a new adaptable communication system for all railways (€500,000); novel single wagonload Intermodal and system trains with support of innovative access and operation tools (€1.5 million), Improved vehicle dynamics (€1.25 million); and intelligent freights wagon (€750,000).

There are Coordination and Support Actions on: long-term needs of different actors in the railway sector (€200,000); as well as Energy usage, generation and saving approaches (€1 million).

There is also another research innovation action for €1.2 million on ‘safer infrastructure - improved object detection and prevention of safety critical events.

Mobility for Growth

Safety - Behavioural aspects for safer transport includes a RIA in 2016, with proposals of €4m €9m expected

Logistics - Networked and efficient logistics clusters: RIA, 2016, Proposals of €4m €6m expected

Infrastructure - Optimisation of transport infrastructure multi modal corridors and terminals: RIA, 2017, Proposals of €2m €6m expected

SME Instrument

In addition, the SME Instrument is targeted at all types of innovative SMEs showing a strong ambition to grow. This applies to close to market activities (Technology Readiness Level 6 or above).

Mistakes to avoid

Common mistakes of non-selected proposals in previous calls were:

  • Proposals too focused on technology
  • Insufficient detail on competing solutions
  • Too low and level of innovation
  • Not enough on commercialisation
  • No European dimension.

Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies - Information and Communication Technologies, Piraba Navaratnam, RSSB

In his presentation on the Horizon 2020 ICT 2016-17 Work Programme, Dr Piraba Navaratnam emphasised the fast evolving nature of ICT.

Potential R&I Topics for H2020 Collaborations include: Enhancing customer experience on rail travel (such as improved mobile broadband services on trains; real-time customer information services; seamless multi modal end-to-end customer experience; and crowd-sourcing useful customer information); Remote condition monitoring (autonomous asset monitoring and maintenance predictive capacity planning and supply; improved security and safety; intelligent passenger flow management, passenger assist); ICT on Railway (including Cyber security; security of rail communication systems; remote condition monitoring and integrity of data transmitted; privacy and trust models for complex railway stakeholder chain; security and privacy of passengers); and Robotics and autonomous system (including autonomous railway asset monitoring and maintenance and passenger assist).

The specific calls of interest are listed in the Presentation by Piraba Navaratnam

Secure societies – Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens? Helen Almey

The Horizon 2020 Secure Societies challenge is about protecting freedom and security of Europe & its citizens (and is worth €1.7Bn over seven years).

Specific calls are highlighted in her presentation, but Helen suggested that to succeed proposals should “push the boundaries - be ambitious and take risks”.

Presentation by Helen Almey





Close by Martin Brennan

Summarising the information day, Martin Brennan said his personal view was the day had been “Absolutely super”.

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