Shift2Rail logo A body of the European Union

Shift2Rail’s new Innovation Programme: IPX

Shift2Rail IPX Programme Manager Gorazd Marinic shares with us what is meant by the disruptive innovation and exploratory research at the heart of this new Shift2Rail Innovation Programme.

How would you describe Innovation Programme X (IPx)?

IPx is for the first time creating a common vision on Rail Functional System Architecture and developing a Conceptual Data Model (CDM), which will enable a single view of the sector, a common approach on designing various solutions and facilitate exchange of data. The future-proof system architecture and seamless data flow will support the final goal to improve the efficiency, attractiveness and lower the environmental impact of the rail transport.

At the same time IPx is all about Disruptive Innovation and Exploratory Research, for example Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence. It also differs from other Shift2Rail Innovation programmes as it does not focus on a specific domain, nor does directly contribute to specific Technical Demonstrators. Its work focuses on technologies that are disrupting the existing market or even creating new markets, and also looks at technologies that are not yet available, or have not been yet used in the railway sector.

How does IPx fit with the other IPs and the CCA, and what does x stand for?

LinX4Rail, a project within IPx, will play a central role in creating a common vision on the Rail Functional System Architecture by collecting input from running Shift2Rail initiatives, external activities such as RCA, OCORA, EULYNX … and triggering the implementation of the agreed approach into Shift2Rail work for the future. In this sense it is an activity connecting and integrating all Shift2Rail Innovation Programmes. Moreover, in the IT sector ‘‘X’’ is widely understood as standing for for disruptive innovation.

What is the focus of the IPx 2020 call?

Disruptive innovation! Within the 2020 call for proposals we proposed a CSA – Coordination and Support action to bring together all European (and beyond) stakeholders involved in the development of new types of guided transport, e.g. Hyperloop. This initiative should focus on standardisation and safety and. identify the potential transferability and technical synergies with Railways solutions.