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Groups and partnerships

​​​​​​​​​RSSB facilitates and supports a number of partnerships that aim to provide a broad range of solutions for the rail industry speeding up the availability and introduction of new technologies.

RSSB's research partnerships work across the spectrum of technology readiness levels. We support the industry in identifying and developing both short-term and long-term solutions aligned to its business needs and objectives from blue-sky thinking to prototype development.

To clarify the diversity of our activities, we have divided them into 2 groups:

  • Co-funded arrangements: in which RSSB research funds are matched with those from 1 or more other organisations
  • Collaboration and knowledge sharing arrangements: in which 2 or more organisations collaborate sharing resources and knowledge to mutual benefit. This may have many outcomes, including not doing research already completed or planned by another organisation, or pooling knowledge and expertise to achieve better results or reduce costs.

Co-funding research

RSSB has established strategic partnerships with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), and the University of Huddersfield. RSSB also has its own grant scheme to create greater value from its funding budget, and we have brought enhanced value to GB rail through participation in projects in the European Commission Frameworks Programme.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

RSSB and the Department for Transport are in partnership with the
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) External link to co-fund academic research into the performance and sustainability of the railway system.

The purpose of the partnership includes:

  • Research aligned with the Rail Technical Strategy
  • Training to maintain a strong rail related academic base and integrate less traditional rail disciplines  

Previous call for academic research include Capacity at nodes External link.

RSSB is working with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPRC), supported by Department for Transport, to invite calls to establish a number of cross-disciplinary consortia to conduct research into novel applications for materials to reduce whole life asset costs.

Technology Strategy Board

​RSSB has a signed Memorandum of Understanding with the Technology Strategy Board External link to co-fund research and development calls leading to innovation for the rail industry.

Previous calls include the Accelerating innovation in rail project External link​.

University of Huddersfield

The University of Huddersfield and RSSB signed a Memorandum of Understanding in July 2013, sealing a deal to pool resources and talent for research into system and engineering risk modelling to support informed decision making and future risk prediction.

Each organisation is contributing funding of up to £0.5 million per year to fuel a £5million 5-year programme. Research will be carried out and new techniques developed to fill the gaps that are identified in system and engineering risk modelling, as well as issues around human capital, and educating the next generation of railway professionals.

Collaboration and knowledge sharing

Rail Research UK Association

A partnership between the British rail industry and UK universities

Recognising the potential contribution that the academic community can make to rail innovation, RSSB and Network Rail co-fund Rail Research UK Association (RRUKA) as a bridge between industry and academia which brings together those who do research with those who can use and fund it.  

RRUKA harnesses blue-skies thinking to provide innovative solutions for the railway industry and is creating a forum for targeted knowledge exchange and networking between universities and the industry.

Find out more at www.rruka.org.uk External link including information on how to join.

International Railway Union (UIC)

Recognising that sharing and accessing intelligence about rail research and innovation around the world is key, RSSB and the UIC have entered into a partnership to enhance and develop SPARK External link into the international knowledge sharing platform for rail research.

Transport Research Laboratory (UK)

RSSB and TRL have agreed a strategic partnership that is set to share and combine research expertise in transport with their specific experience in the road and rail sectors.

The primary focus of the partnership is:

  • Providing broader and better access to transport, road and rail research and developing better integration of thinking to deliver real value solutions
  • Drawing together technical expertise on transport sustainability, climate change and energy issues with a focus on protecting and future-proofing the transport networks
  • Exploring and securing new initiatives and funding streams at an international level (both in Europe and across other parts of the world)

Other collaborations

RSSB is in regular dialogue with a number of organisations and regularly shares information about past, current and upcoming research activities and. These regular exchanges aim to identify research topics and projects of particular interest to both parties and put researchers and experts in touch to explore opportunities for joint and/or synergic initiatives. Memorandums of collaboration are currently in place with CRC for Rail Innovation External link (Australia)  and Railway Technical Research Institute External link (Japan).

To discuss opportunities for collaborations and partnerships, contact enquirydesk@rssb.co.uk.

Routes into Rail

The ‘Routes into Rail’ group was set up in February 2014 as a sub-group of the National Skills Academy for Rail Industry Promotion Steering Group (IPSG) in order to help facilitate the implementation of the overall rail promotion strategy set by the IPSG. Its members are:

  • Institution of Mechanical Engineers
  • Industry Promotion Steering Group
  • Permanent Way Institution
  • Railway Engineers Forum
  • Rail Research UK Association
  • Young Rail Professionals
  • RSSB.

Supporters include:

  • Rail Delivery Group
  • Network Rail
  • National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering
  • Women in Rail.

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