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 FP 6 Project: Regional Railway Transport Research and Training Centre Foundation /RRTC/

FP 6 Project: Regional Railway Transport Research and Training Centre Foundation /RRTC/

The FP6 project TSA4-CT RRTC “Regional railway transport research and training centre foundation” (Trend: Transport 2) started on 1 September 2005. It is coordinated by the Todor Kableshkov Uiversity of Transport in Sofia, Bulgaria, and is being implemented in partnership with the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Kraljevo, Serbia and Montenegro.

PROJECT CORE TEAM
Coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Dobrinka Atrmadzhova, Ph.D., (UT)
Members: Anna Dzhaleva-Chonkova Ph.D., Senior Lecturer (UT)
Margarita Georgieva, MSc., Senior Lecturer (UT)
Assoc. Prof. Borislav Benchev, Ph.D. (UT)
Prof. Nencho Nenov, DSc. (UT)
Prof. Ranko Rakanovic, Ph.D. (MFK)
Doc. Dragan Petrovic, Ph.D. (MFK)
Doc. Zlatan Soskic, Ph.D. (MFK)

The aim of the project is to establish an international research and training centre in the field of railway transport that will integrate the efforts of developing modern, competitive, safe and comfortable railways on the Balkans.

The Regional railway transport research and training centre (RRTC):
• will be based at the University of Transport in Sofia;
• will contribute to the development of the railway transport in the region in compliance with the EU standards and requirements;
• will be open for membership of all research and educational institutions in the Balkan countries.

The Centre will work to achieve:
• coordination of the institutional activities in research and education;
• increasing the scientific potential in the Balkan countries;
• creating joint working and expert groups in the region;
• harmonization of the railway system on the Balkans with the European one.

The following events have been organized under the project:
• presentation of the project to the foreign guests who visited the University of Transport;
• interviews for national broadcasting programs;
• work meetings with academic staff at the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece;
• work meetings with academic staff at the University Politehnica, Bucharest, Romania;
• kick-off meeting on 11 November 2005;
• support to the 15 International Scientific Conference Transport 2005 and the Conference Proceedings;
• joining to the section of Transport Engineering of the European Academy of Architecture, based in Pardubice, Czech Republic;
• work on developing the project website.

The implementation of the 6FP project “Regional railway transport research and training centre foundation” will result in increasing the level of research in the region, creating of joint work and expert groups, and encouraging the development of new projects of common interest faced the current needs of transport section. The project aim is to summarize the main problems of railway and surface transport to present them as main topics for further research, training courses and mobility. The survey will be carried out by the consortium team with the help of the research and educational institutions that will join the RRTC later. It is expected that the future Centre will have members not only from the Balkan region, but also from the EU member countries as the Higher School of Transport has been in contact with some universities for long years: the University of Zilina, Slovak Republic; the Transport Faculty with the University of Pardubice, Czech Republic; Technical University of Dresden, Technical University of Braunschweig and the University of Applied Sciences in Mannheim, Germany, Technical University of Vienna and Technical University of Graze, Austria; Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

Main activities under the project:
- survey on the current state of the surface transport on the Balkans to outline the most important and urgent problems that has to be solved using scientific methods in compliance with ERRAC and EURNEX objectives;
- summarizing the objectives of the national transport policies in the Balkan countries to find out problems of common interest;
- comparing the existing condition of transport in the region to the EC requirements and the policy of pan-European corridors in order to select topics for future research projects;
- encouraging cooperation of the scientists from the Balkan countries, support to young researchers and PhD students and the development of joint projects with transport companies, industrial enterprises, SSEs;
- information about the possibilities of RRTC to support common activities of researchers and university teachers;
- support to publishing conference proceedings, books, lecture scripts, leaflets and other advertising materials.
The survey on the current condition of the surface transport and especially the railways on the Balkans will make possible to map the real needs of research projects contributing to meet the EC requirements of sustainable transport development The results of research will be offered for implementing to public and private transport companies as well as to governmental and non-governmental organizations dealing with policy-making in the field of harmonization of the national transport systems with the European one. The summarized conclusions of the survey will be used to develop the draft program of the Center, the establishment of which will be announced during the 16th International Scientific Conference Transport 2006 in Sofia. The membership will be opened for all research and educational institution in the field of transport both from the Balkan and other European countries.

To stimulate the joint research activities, the project team will organize, apart from the support to conferences Transport 2005 and Transport 2006, other scientific events such as seminars, round-table discussions, etc. The RRTC will encourage the scientists from the region to develop joint research projects on the base of the main trends in the Centre program that will reflect the results of the survey, analysis and mapping of the current problems of the surface transport on the Balkans and Europe. The program will consider the priorities of ERRAC and the activities under EURNEX project.

The core team of the project will provide the research results transfer and will organize competitions for a paper of great scientific and practical effect, innovation method, PhD thesis. The scientific achievements and other information about the possibilities of cooperation will be spread out through the project website, conference proceedings, CDs, etc.

The final aim of the RRTC activities will be to increase the level of research and its applicability in compliance with the priorities of the transport development on the Balkans aiming at being inseparable part of the whole European transport system. Further contacts are welcome on e-mail: rrtc@vtu.bg . The core team will appreciate any questions, suggestions and recommendations.

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