Research Projects coordinated by UNIFE

  • ASTRail

    Duration: September 2017 - August 2019 (24 months)
    Budget: 1.8 million EUR
    Partners: 6 (2 UNIFE Members)

    The main objective of the ASTRAIL project is to increase the railway sector’s efficiency and safety. ASTRAIL will contribute to enhance the signalling and automation of the railway system thanks to innovative solutions that exploit cutting edge technologies already present in other sectors, such as the avionics or the automotive sector. Examination of such technologies and assessment of their reusability in the railway field will be done taking into account all issues related to safety and performance in the rail system.

    ASTRail is split into 4 main technical work streams:

    1. 1GNSS technology into the ERTMS Signalling System
    2. Hazard Analysis of the railway system (with a focus on “moving block signalling”)
    3. Automatic driving technologies for Automatic Train Operations
    4. Formal language and method to be applied in the railway field.
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  • Etalon

    Duration: September 2017 - February 2020 (30 months)
    Budget: 1.7 million EUR
    Partners: 9 (2 UNIFE Members)

    The main objective of the “ETALON” project is the adaptation of energy harvesting methodologies for trackside and on-board signalling and communication. ETALON will contribute to the enhancement of train integrity functionalities, providing a suitable energy supply for on-board train integrity detection and a robust radio communication system between vehicles. ETALON will also contribute to the reduction of cost, providing an energy harvesting solution for Smart Radio connected wayside objects and implementing an off-board radio communication system with object controllers.

    As a result, ETALON considers the specification and development of energy harvesting solutions to support on-board train integrity and Smart Radio connected wayside objects which are economically viable and suitable. It will take into consideration onboard and offboard radio communication solutions, safety critical aspects as well as reliability and availability in difficult rail environments.

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  • GoF4R

    Duration: November 2016 - November 2019 (24 months)
    Budget: 2 million EUR
    Partners: 16

    GoF4R (Governance of the IF for Rail and Intermodal Mobility) is a 2-year project which includes the following 16 partners from 8 different EU Member States: UNIFE, CEFRIEL, CNC, D’Appolonia, EPF, Masaryk University, OLTIS Group, Politecnico di Milano, RSSB, Teleste, Trenitalia, UIC, University of Zilina, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and University of Sheffield.

    The objectives of GoF4R are to analyse the economic determinants of the market for customer-centric mobility services as they are shaped by the introduction of the Interoperability Framework technology like:
      • Network effects, externalities, the effect of the introduction of matchmaking platforms and social networks in the market place;
      • Economic Incentives / disincentives for adoption on market Agents;
      • Constrains on the supply of critical inputs, including human resources.

    Additionally, the project aims at designing specific governance structures and processes that maximize the effect of market forces on adoption of the technology while providing mitigating measures for residual market failures. Lastly, it will generate recommendations on possible needed adaptations of the legal framework regulating the provisioning of compatible networked customer centric mobility services.

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    Duration: September 2017 - August 2019 (24 months)
    Budget: 2.2 million EUR
    Partners: 14 (1 UNIFE member)

    The predicted growth of transport, especially in European railway infrastructures, is expected to introduce a dramatic increase in freight and passenger services by the end of 2050. To support sustainable development of these infrastructures, novel data-driven ICT solutions are required. These will enable monitoring, analysis and exploitation of energy and asset information for the entire railway system including power grid, stations, rolling stock and infrastructure. IN2DREAMS (INtelligent solutions 2ward the Development of Railway Energy and Asset Management Systems in Europe) will address these challenges through two distinct work streams: WS1, focusing on the management of energy-related data and WS2, focusing on the management of assetrelated data. IN2DREAMS will develop and demonstrate a modular cloud-based open data management platform (ODM) facilitating ubiquitous support of both energy and asset services.

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  • RUN2Rail

    Duration: September 2017 - August 2019 (24 months)
    Budget: 2.7 million EUR
    Partners: 15 (2 UNIFE members)

    RUN2RAIL (Innovative RUNning gear soluTiOnsfor new dependable, sustainable, intelligent and comfortable RAIL vehicles) is a Shift2Rail Open Call project within the Horizon2020 Programme. RUN2Rail will explore several technical developments for future running gear, looking into ways to design trains that are more reliable, lighter, less damaging to the track, more comfortable and less noisy. Moreover, the project will look into other sectors in order to gain expertise and to transfer innovative solutions for future running gears.

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  • SMaRTE

    Duration: September 2017 - August 2019 (24 months)
    Budget: 0.7 million EUR
    Partners: 11

    SMaRTE (Smart Maintenance and the Rail Traveller Experience) is a Shift2Rail CCA Open Call project within the Horizon2020 Programme. SMaRTE brings together two related but distinct areas of research. Smart maintenance and human factors are coupled with digitisation and the use of information to enhance decision making, either by industry players in respect of maintenance decisions, or by users of the system in employing smart applications to navigate the rail system and its interaction with other modes. The challenge of the smart maintenance stream of this work (henceforth referred to as smart maintenance) is to improve current railway train maintenance systems, through the integration of predictive data analysis algorithms and online optimisation tools within an improved Condition Based Maintenance strategy.

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  • ST4RT

    Duration: November 2016 - November 2019 (24 months)
    Budget: 1 million EUR
    Partners: 8

    ST4RT (Semantic Transformations for Rail Transportation) is a 2-year project which includes the following 8 partners from 5 different EU Member States: UNIFE, CEFRIEL, CNC, D’Appolonia, Hit Rail, OLTIS Group, Politecnico di Milano, Trenitalia and UIC.

    The objectives of ST4RT are to develop cost-reducing translator technologies drawing from the ontology repository and the service registry hosted by the Interoperability Framework. It will achieve this by:
      • Analysing the availability and maturity of semantic transformation tools and technologies;
      • Designing methodologies for annotation/mapping between legacy data models and ontologies;
      • Developing extensions to the IT2Rail reference ontology;
      • Developing automatic mapping between the IT2Rail reference ontology and legacy data models, i.e. TAP-TSI;
      • Developing KPIs and Metrics for the transformation evaluation.

    Due to their close links with Shift2Rail IP4, these two projects had a combined kick-off meeting which took place on the 29th of November in Brussels. It was the first occasion for all the partners involved in both projects, to meet and discuss about their respective workplans and collaboration between them.

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    Duration: February 2016 - January 2018 (24 months)
    Budget: 4,5 million EUR
    Partners: 17

    The STARS (Satellite Technology for Advanced Railway Signalling) project aims to fill the gap between ERTMS needs for safety critical applications and E-GNSS services, through a characterisation of the railway environment and of GNSS performance assessment in that environment.
    Key objectives of the project are:
    • To develop a universal approach to predict the achievable GNSS performance, especially for safety critical applications within ERTMS and to determine the necessary evolution of ETCS to include GNSS services;
    • To quantify the economic benefits through reduction of cost, which will increase market appeal of ERTMS;
    As a result of the project it shall be possible to predict performance of GNSS in the railway environment in regards to accuracy, availability and safety. This shall be possible for specific locations or sections along railway lines, and based on using a compliant receiver. The resulting application will facilitate interoperability between equipment of different suppliers, which is one of the key elements that has led to significant applications of ERTMS in Europe and beyond.

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Projects with Unife Involvement


    Duration: November 2016 - April 2019 (30 months)
    Budget: 1,5 million EUR
    Partners: 11

    INNOWAG (INNOvative monitoring and predictive maintenance solutions on lightweight WAGon) is a 30-month project co-financed by the European Commission’s S2R initiative aimed at increasing rail freight competitiveness and the development of the next generation of lightweight and intelligent freight wagons by addressing specific challenges in the three essential areas, identified by the call, through three subsequent work streams, namely:
      • Work Stream 1 (WS1): Cargo condition monitoring;
      • Work Stream 2 (WS2): Wagon design; and
      • Work Stream 3 (WS3): Predictive maintenance.

    Moreover, INNOWAG will consider the compatibility between the solutions proposed and researched in the three areas, as well as their integration into a novel concept of wagon. The aim of the proposed project is to develop intelligent cargo monitoring and predictive maintenance solutions integrated into this novel concept of lightweight wagon, which would respond to major challenges in rail freight competitiveness.
    UNIFE is leading the work on exploitation as well as contributing to the dissemination and communication strategy of the project. UNIFE members in INNOWAG are Lucchini RS and Uzina de Vagoane Aiud.

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