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ERCI – European Railway Clusters Initiative

Winners of the ERCI Innovation Awards 2023

© Berlin Partner/hbn

On Tuesday 19 September 2023, during the 15th International Railway Fair TRAKO at Gdańsk International Fair AMBEREXPO, ul. Żaglowa 11, 80-560 Gdańsk, the European Railway Clusters Initiative (ERCI) awarded prizes to the best European innovations in the railway industry from those companies who submitted applications to the annual ERCI Railway Innovation Competition. The competition identifies the best innovation (at Technology Readiness Level 7 or above) from Large Enterprises as well as deciding on the best innovation from the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) nominations.

The competition also identifies ‘Coup de Cœur’ awards from the remaining nominations where the jury identified particularly strong nominations that were worthy of special recognition.

It goes without saying, that without any nominations, there could not be a competition – and all 25 nominations along with their parent railway clusters are to be commended on submitting the nominations.

As we continue to live and operate ‘with COVID’ and it is still very much affecting our lives; nonetheless, it has been particularly enrichening to be able to stage this year’s ceremony as an ‘in person’ event, as we did last year during InnoTrans 2022 in Berlin.

We remain most grateful to Professor Markus Hecht, Head of the Chair for ‘Rail Vehicles’ at TU Berlin for his most valuable contribution as Chairperson of the ERCI Railway Innovation Competition Jury and for presenting the awards during the ERCI Innovation Awards Ceremony.

The 2023 ERCI Innovation Awards

The 25 participating companies have had their submissions assessed by a European Jury composed of railway experts from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Türkiye and the United Kingdom. The following companies were selected as winning entries and have been awarded ERCI Innovation Awards as follows:

Best Small and Medium Enterprise:

Net Automotion Systems with their NETBEE product.  Net Automation Systems are based in Zeltweg, Austria.

Company: NET-Automation Systems GmbH is an innovative company specializing in automation solutions and systems for industrial applications and offers customized solutions to increase efficiency and optimize processes in various industries

Website: www.net-automotion.at

Innovation: The innovative NETBEE brake force measuring system revolutionizes brake force measurement through the use of thin-film foil sensors. This technology is implemented within a measurement trolley, enabling wireless data transmission and convenient operation via a tablet PC.

Advantages: This product enables condition-based maintenance to happen for the braking system components with benefits including the following: extended maintenance intervals, efficient time and resource management and cost savings, as well as having international interest and application.

Best Large Enterprise:

TCDD with their innovative Automatic Train Inspection (ATI) system. TCDD is based in Türkiye.    

Company: TCDD is the abbreviation for the State Railways of the Republic of Türkiye and is a government-owned national railway company responsible for the ownership and maintenance of railway infrastructure in Turkey as well as the planning and construction of new lines.

Website: www.tcdd.gov.tr

Innovation: The axle-based classification method enables the separation and classification of railway vehicles based on the distances between consecutive axles.

Advantages: The advantages are as follows: saving time and money, whilst increasing operational efficiency and remaining environmentally friendly.

Coup de Cœur Award:

SIUT GmbH with their Illuminated Platform Edge. SIUT GmbH are based in Berlin, Germany

Company: Researching since 2012, SIUT has succeeded in revolutionizing concrete and transformed it into luminous displays, being used to portray information in public spaces and improve the overall aesthetic.

Website: www.siut.eu

Innovation: SIUT’s Illuminated Platform Edge utilizes modular units arranged linearly, featuring specialized concrete slabs with integrated LED lights. These units incorporate intelligent electronic components to receive, process, and translate train-specific data into easy-to-understand light signals.

Advantages: Provides information by visualizing a variety of information, for example: the capacity of each wagon, in advance; additionally, it also supports barrier-free travel via timely light signals embedded in the floor and reduces dwell times due to an early and optimised distribution of passenger flow.

Summary

Many thanks to the ERCI Railway Innovation Competition team for all their hard work and all the companies which participated this year and we look forward to seeing you in 2024 for a new edition of the ERCI Innovation Awards!

Picture: © Berlin Partner/hbn

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