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ERCI Honors Railway Innovators at TRAKO 2023: Celebrating Excellence in European Railway Technology

ERCI Honors Railway Innovators at TRAKO 2023: Celebrating Excellence in European Railway Technology
photo: H.-C. Plambeck / DB/ERCI Honors Railway Innovators at TRAKO 2023: Celebrating Excellence in European Railway Technology
27 / 09 / 2023

Last Tuesday, during the 15th International Railway Fair TRAKO at Gdańsk International Fair AMBEREXPO, the European Railway Clusters Initiative (ERCI) honored outstanding European railway industry innovations. Awards were given to those companies that submitted applications for the annual ERCI Railway Innovation Competition. The criteria for selection were based on Technology Readiness Level 7 or above from Large Enterprises and also from Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) nominations. The competition additionally recognized certain nominations with the 'Coup de Cœur' awards, acknowledging particularly noteworthy submissions.

It is noteworthy to mention the significance of having 25 nominations for this competition, representing the involvement and dedication of parent railway clusters. Despite ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic, this year's ceremony was successfully conducted in person, reminiscent of the previous year's ceremony at InnoTrans 2022 in Berlin. Special gratitude is extended to Professor Markus Hecht, Head of the Chair for ‘Rail Vehicles’ at TU Berlin, for his invaluable role as Chairperson of the ERCI Railway Innovation Competition Jury and for presenting the awards at the ERCI Innovation Awards Ceremony.

The 2023 ERCI Innovation Awards saw submissions from 25 companies, evaluated by a European Jury comprised of railway experts from several countries. The results of the competition are as follows:

Net Automotion Systems from Zeltweg, Austria, secured the award for the Best Small and Medium Enterprise. Their innovation, the NETBEE brake force measuring system, leverages thin-film foil sensors. This technology is housed within a measurement trolley, facilitating wireless data transfer and simplified operations through a tablet PC. The NETBEE system paves the way for condition-based maintenance of the braking system, resulting in benefits like extended maintenance intervals, efficient time and resource management, and substantial cost savings.

The Best Large Enterprise award was presented to TCDD from Türkiye for their Automatic Train Inspection (ATI) system. The axle-based classification method introduced by TCDD enables the categorization of railway vehicles considering the gaps between consecutive axles. This innovation ensures time and money savings, enhanced operational efficiency, and promotes an eco-friendly approach.

The 'Coup de Cœur' accolade was awarded to SIUT GmbH, based in Berlin, Germany, for their Illuminated Platform Edge. Since 2012, SIUT has been at the forefront of transforming traditional concrete into luminous displays for public space enhancement. Their innovation consists of modular units lined up in a sequence, featuring specialized concrete slabs integrated with LED lights. These components are technologically advanced, processing train-specific data into comprehensible light signals. This aids in visualizing diverse information such as wagon capacity and promotes accessibility through timely floor-embedded light signals, optimizing passenger distribution and minimizing halt durations.

Source: ERCI