It has been hugely satisfying to be able to play a part in developing and finally launching the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (website here). On Tuesday 20 February we hosted a launch event in the UK Houses of Parliament with the Rail Minister, Jo Johnson MP, as our guest speaker to welcome the launch and to show the Government support and commitment to UKRRIN to a large number of partners and supporters from across industry, academia and the wider rail sector.
The breadth of support was clear for this initiative that brings a stronger partnership between academia and industry to support better collaborative working with the aim of fostering more and better research, development and innovation in rail-related disciplines that will see more products and services developed and commercialised.
The link to Government policy is clear; such activity must occur for an Industrial Strategy to be effective. With clear links to supporting increased skills, productivity, innovation and onwards to domestic and export market growth for the UK rail industry, the need for UKRRIN is clear and demonstrable.
And the reaction from media and stakeholders has been clearly encouraging…
Here are the key players… Professor Simon Iwnicki (University of Hudderfield, leading the Centre of Excellence in Rolling Stock), Jo Binstead (Siemens, Chair of the UKRRIN Steering Group), Jo Johnson MP (Rail Minister), Professor Clive Roberts (University of Birmingham, leading the Centre of Excellence in Digital Systems) and Professor William Powrie (University of Southampton, leading the Centre of Excellence in Infrastructure).
Follow our progress in the coming months via the website, or on twitter @UKRRIN