PKP Polish Railway Lines (PKP PLK) and the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR) have signed a memorandum setting the bases for a joint research & development programme in the area of innovative IT systems, reducing the impact of rail on the environment, more efficient infrastructure maintenance and modernisation as well as improved comfort and safety of passengers. Both entities will jointly allocate PLN 50 million (EUR 11.7 million) for the implementation of the best R&D projects.
“Creating a modern transport system on Polish territory is only possible with the use of the latest solutions and technologies. Research and development carried out by Polish scientists and entrepreneurs will help make it happen”, stated Director of the NCBR Prof. Krzysztof Jan Kurzydłowski.
PKP PLK SA continuously strive to provide the best conditions for passenger service and an efficient transport of goods. R&D conducted under the joint initiative will help improve the railway network and increase the role of this means of transport.
“We focus on the Polish technical know-how. There are plenty of talented and respected engineers out there at Polish universities – it is high time their bright ideas made it to rail transport. For the first time in Poland we launch such a large research programme worth PLN 50 million and devoted only to rail infrastructure. Solutions developed under the joint PKP PLK SA – NCBR venture will provide better passenger service as well as a safer and more environmentally friendly transportation. We start this initiative along with the largest ever ongoing investment programme. By 2023, the latter will see us invest PLN 67 billion in the Polish rail transport” , stated the CEO of PKP PLK SA Andrzej Filip Wojciechowski.
Based on an open innovation model, the competitions under the joint initiative will welcome project proposals that meet PKP PLK SA needs from universities, science institutions and companies in the railway sector.
The plan is to co-fund R&D projects that will resolve, among others, challenges associated with the creation of noise caused by rail transport. Projects planned also include issues related to better adjustment of stations and stops to passengers’ needs and to the railway equipment protection. The company also wants to obtain solutions that will increase train traffic safety and optimise the process of railway infrastructure maintenance and upgrading.
The first competition will be announced next year, with the implementation of solutions developed to begin in 2017.
This is the fifth in a series of NCBR’s agreements with companies to establish joint research programmes. The NCBR has to date concluded similar agreements with KGHM Miedź S.A., Synthos S.A., PGE and PKP Cargo S.A.