THE EUROPEAN RAILACTIVATION PROJECT, LED BY MAFEX, WILL TEST IN TWENTY EUROPEAN SMES IN THE RAILWAY SECTOR THE MECHANISMS AND TOOLS THAT HAVE BEEN DESIGNED DURING THE FIRST PHASE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROJECT. THESE TOOLS AIM TO ANTICIPATE THE EFFECTS OF DIGITIZATION ON THE INDUSTRY AND TO DESIGN THE TRANSFORMATION OF THEIR INNOVATION PROCESS AROUND THE CUSTOMER.
The railway industry is key in Europe to ensure a sustainable transport sector in the EU. And since the success of the digital revolution means that railway industries must use the best available technologies, focusing on the human factor, the role of workplace innovation stands as a driving force to deliver innovative services and to promote technological development.
In that context, the European RailActivation project, led by Mafex and involving a consortium of 4 partners (Tecnalia, Rail.S, Ditecfer and the Association of Italian Universities Quinn) launched last year with the aim of creating and testing railway business and organizational mechanisms to enable SMEs in the sector to adopt innovation in the workplace.
The objective of the project is to develop and experience a research model based on the concept ‘Workplace Innovation’, since the great challenge of the railway industries is to offer innovative products that deliver speed and flexibility to respond to the changing demands of the environment.
The pilot framework, mechanisms and tools have been developed during the project to help companies to anticipate and adapt themselves to the environment. To aid its development, Mafex defined the specifications to be met by the framework based on a quantitative and qualitative analysis carried out in the sector to determine, together with Tecnalia, the mechanism and innovation tool for the sector.
In order to test pilot plans in the business environment, the project launched an open call to test it in 20 SMEs. After receiving the nominations on September 30th, the pilot programmes will be tested in the twenty selected companies over a period of ten months.
To this end, a calendar of working groups has been established where University Consortium QUINN will develop different methodologies for participating companies to exchange their experiences in relation to workplace innovation. Participating companies will be able to exchange information with different profiles of professionals from companies located in six different countries: United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Romania, Italy, and Greece.
The project is supported by an Advisory Board made up of expert members in the field of innovation and railway operators who support the project through their knowledge and experience. Finally, within the framework of the virtual Rail Live! exhibition that will be held in December, the consortium members will present a roundtable to disseminate the project and its preliminary results in order to further promote workplace innovation.