The Rail Research UK Association (RRUKA), held its 6th annual event earlier this month, with presentations providing and insight into current UK academic research activities, and an interactive exhibition showcasing skills and expertise of UK research institutions (including a specially dedicated UKRRIN stand).
Clive Roberts, BCRRE Director, and Professor of Railway Systems at University of Birmingham and Sharon Odetunde, Head of Academic Partnerships at RSSB, gave a joint presentation on UKRRIN. This focused on providing an update on the development of the network, and next steps following the recent HEFCE funding award. Mechanisms for engagement with the network were also outlined, as well as a proposal for the consolidation of RRUKA and UKRRIN in order to deliver five core functions to best meet industry needs.
With £92 million funding for rail research and innovation already pledged for UKRRIN, this consolidation represents the next evolution of collaborative innovation in rail, strengthening the relationships developed between industry and academia. The discussion also reinforced the need for accelerated uptake of academic research, and it was clear to see that the industry is keen to position itself to achieve this.