The Research Journey
Overview of the research journey
DfT set the high-level strategic direction for rail and wider transport research, offering cross-modal perspective.
Industry generates the ideas, opportunities and challenges that need to be addressed. They also support in shaping what is required from the research outputs to be successful.
RSSB assess whether the idea fits with the programme scope and remit then lead development of the case for research and specify the work to be undertaken.
DfT provide oversight and support from policy teams when required.
Industry representatives participate in project steering groups and provide access to necessary expertise, assets, facilities and data.
RSSB manage the delivery and coordinate all stakeholders. We also ensure quality of findings and tailor the outputs produced to the end users.
We employ a range of delivery mechanisms, depending on the nature and maturity of the concept being investigated:
- Open procurement for expert suppliers, often consultancies and academic institutions
- Internal delivery utilising RSSB expertise in system safety, standardisation and sustainability
- Strategic partnerships with selected academic institutions that complement and add to RSSB expertise
- A grant scheme to assist near-to-market solutions
- Research calls to enable consortia to propose alternative ideas to open ended challenges and allow early feasibility assessment to be carried out.
DfT raise awareness of key programme successes across its senior team and where appropriate uses findings to inform policy decisions.
Industry representatives help to promote and champion the findings, next steps to be taken by industry and the benefits that can be unlocked.
RSSB publish and present the OUTPUTS to a wide variety of industry stakeholders and decision makers via a range of channels ranging from small, targeted presentations to individual organisation or the hosting of live events and/or webinars. All research reports are made publicly available in the Research Catalogue on the RSSB website.
The outputs produced by the programme typically fall into the following categories:
- Tools and models
- Feasibility assessments
- Parameters for optimisation of existing solutions
- Updated standards, guidance and technical specifications
- Collated state-of-the-art knowledge
DfT encourage uptake of the research findings, including when appropriate via incentivisation and franchise agreements.
Early adopters from industry make use of the outputs and provide feedback and data to help make the case for wider adoption.
RSSB work closely with early adopters and support the transition to the next stage of take up.
OUTCOMES and IMPACT
The targeted outcomes from take-up of our research are:
- A safer railway
- A more efficient railway
- A more sustainable railway
The desired impacts are:
- More satisfied customers
- Environmental benefits
- Stronger rail sector and UK economy
- A more sustainable railway