Conditions / Rules

The overall mission of UIC is to promote an increased use of rail transport at world level and to help its members to make rail transport more attractive, effective, sustainable and economically viable.

In order to stimulate rail research towards the necessary innovations and step-changes, UIC’s IRRB (International Rail Research Board) has initiated the "UIC Innovation Awards".
The ambition of the UIC Innovation Awards is to support the development of rail transport as the sustainable backbone of a transport system that is cost-efficient, reliable, safe and secure and will therefore become the mode of choice for passengers and freight forwarders.

The official UIC Innovation Award ceremony 2018 will take place on the occasion of the UIC General Assembly to be held on 6 December 2018 (tbc).

 1. The Award

The UIC Innovation Awards consist of:

  • Certificate(s) signed by the UIC Chairman, the UIC Director General and the IRBB Chairman will be delivered indicating the topic of the winning project entry as well as the fact that the project entry has received the highest rating in its category.
    All members of a team (five people maximum) shall receive such an official certificate. In addition, certificates can be addressed to companies/organisations having sponsored the winning project entries when requested prior to the official Awards’ ceremony.
  • A prize of 5,000 Euros will be given to each winner or winning team of the different Awards categories, i.e. safety/security; sustainable development; rail system technology; rail freight services; passenger services; cost reductions.
  • An invitation to participate in the UIC Innovation Awards 2018 ceremony including the reimbursement of travel costs and accommodation* for the individual winners of the different Awards’ categories and/or – in case of team applications - for one representative of the winning teams.

*Upon conditions set out by the UIC policy regarding travel costs and accomodation reimbursement

 2. Eligibility Criteria

The conditions of eligibility of a project entry (award application) are defined as follows:

  1. The call for applications to the UIC Innovation Awards 2018 is open to any individual or teams of a maximum of five people representing one organisation/company or a consortium of several organisations/companies having interest in rail research and innovation.
  2. Any applicant or team of applicants must identify and recognise one referent person via an official written statement signed by his/her organisation/company or – in the case of a consortium – by all participating organisations/companies.
  3. All the award applications are submitted to UIC via an electronic on-line submission using the provided format before the end of the submission period communicated in the UIC Call for Awards’ applications. Only on-line project entries which have been submitted before the end of the submission period and in accordance with the instructions described in the UIC Call for Awards’ applications will be eligible for evaluation. On receipt by the UIC of the on-line project submissions and – if applicable – the required additional information, the applications are registered and acknowledged and their content entered into a database in order to support the evaluation process. Once their applications have been properly registered, all applicants will receive an official notification of receipt of their applications.
  4. All Awards’ applications must be submitted in English.
  5. The content of the Awards’ application relates to one of the topics indicated in the on-line application which are relevant to the IRRB strategy.
  6. An award application is complete when all requested information defined in the on-line application form is provided, including information for criteria 1, 2, 3 & 4 – (required).
  7. The content of the Awards’ application should be based on conceptual developments and scientific research.
  8. The innovation should have already been demonstrated, tested and proven beneficial in actual service, making a significant contribution to the development of the rail sector and clearly enhance the efficiency, effectiveness and quality of rail transport. The innovation should be readily available. Furthermore, the applications submitted to the UIC Innovation Awards 2018 should not have been implemented on the market for more than two years.
  9. The innovation should be of industry-wide nature (should be able to be applied globally)
  10. Additional information may be provided to the official online submission. Applicants can provide the Awards’ Jury with additional appropriate visual aids, pictures or any other supports. Any additional information sent must not be exhaustive and restricted only to relevant information that would improve the assessment and understanding of the project by the jury. All additional information must be sent via regular e-mails to:
  • Mr. Dennis Schut
    IRRB secretariat
    Tel: +33(0)60901060

The relevance of the submitted applications will especially be considered in relation to the defined categories for applications, the global rail research priorities and the IRRB Strategy. Applications that are clearly not relevant to the scheme of the UIC Global Rail Research & Innovation Awards ("out of scope") will be rejected on eligibility grounds.

 3. Application Requirements

Applicants are asked to provide an overview of the initiative using a maximum of 300 words (3 pages), briefly describing the nature of the initiative and the objectives, its clients/users (who and how many are benefited), when it was implemented (and completed as appropriate), and in the applicant’s opinion why this is an example of excellence that is worthy of international recognition (for instance, why is this initiative different from other similar initiatives?).

Applicants are also asked to respond to the following selection criteria, which will be used by an international jury, compounded of experts from IRRB members and/or UIC members, to determine the Awards winners.

Responses to each criterion should be limited to a maximum of 300 words.

Selection Criteria:

  1. Describe how the initiative addresses client needs. Factors may include but are not limited to:
    • Point to point reliability and/or speed
    • Ease of planning and use
    • Information availability and accessibility
    • Value adding services, for example, monitoring trip/delivery progress, facilities at interchange points, personal services such as email and internet access, or automated services under specific conditions.
    • Value for money
    • Environmental impact
    • Safety and security
    • Rail system / Rail freight
  2. Identify services or systems that enhance connectivity that have been coordinated and explain how this was achieved. This may include, but are not limited to:
    • Collaboration on design of physical infrastructure, assets, services provision, technical systems infrastructure
    • Responsibilities relating to legal issues, liabilities; investment, revenue allocation, disruption management and response.
    • Communication to clients re service information and offer, promotions
    • Staffing arrangements
  3. Provide evaluation results demonstrating success in meeting client needs. Examples of measurements may include:
    • Reduction in client end-to-end journey time, which may cover intermodal transactions and planning time
    • Consistent on-time delivery/arrival
    • Client expectation satisfaction of the initiative’s proposition
    • Profitability
  4. Highlight specific innovative aspects of this initiative. This may include innovation in:
    • Business and revenue models
    • Interoperability
    • Assessment of satisfaction of client needs
    • IT systems / services in both freight and/or passenger services
    • Savings in resources, energy, other aspects
    • Security / safety

Applicants are invited to provide additional supporting information as available, for example:

How the success of the initiative has resulted in additional investment or continued investment in the initiative or similar transport activities or has spread to other operations publicity or press regarding the initiative.

 3. Evaluation procedure

Evaluation criteria and procedures applied in relation to the UIC Innovation Awards 2018.

2.1. General

The evaluation of the applications for the UIC Innovation Awards 2018 is carried out by the jury which consists of the members of the IRRB (grouping high level representatives of the leading railway research institutes around the world). They have the possibility to be assisted by experts from within their organisation.

The members of the jury and their experts perform evaluations on a personal basis, not as representatives of their employer, their country or any other entity. They are expected to be independent, impartial and objective, and to behave throughout in a professional manner.

By engaging with the evaluation process of the UIC innovation award applications, all jury members pledge to treat the applications with strict confidentiality, in absence of any form of conflict of interest.
Confidentiality must be guaranteed at all times, before, during and after the evaluation procedure.

The UIC Director of the Fundamental Values Department will ensure that the process is fair and in line with the principles expressed in the UIC statutes. He will observe the evaluation process with regard to its formal aspects.
The UIC Director of the Fundamental Values Department will not, in any case, express his views about the applications under evaluation or influence the opinions of any jury member about individual project entries.

If he observes any failure in the formal procedures (e.g. non-respect of the confidentiality rules with regard to the evaluation process by a jury member), the UIC Director of Fundamental Values is authorised to stop the evaluation process and take appropriate measures in agreement with the UIC Director General and the IRRB Chairman, including the formal exclusion of jury members and/or the elimination of individual project entries.

2.2. Evaluation of proposals

The members of the jury and their experts are obliged to conduct the evaluation according to the UIC Innovation Awards evaluation procedure.

Within a week after the final Award submission day, the members of the jury will receive the original on-line applications as well as the additional information and material in case this has been provided by the applicant (info provided either as a paper copy of the original or through a web-link)

The proposal will be evaluated against evaluation criteria determined in the UIC Innovation Awards evaluation form (attached at the bottom of this page).
The members of the jury will be provided with this standard UIC Award score form containing the evaluation criteria and scoring information.

Each application will be assessed independently by each of the members of the jury unless the research has been carried out within their country.

The total scores of the applications will be added and then divided by the number of members of the jury who have evaluated the application.

Under no circumstance may a member of the jury attempt to contact an applicant, either during the evaluation or afterwards.

At this first step the members of the jury are acting individually, if needed supported by one of their company’s experts. The members of the jury do not discuss the applications with each other, nor with any third party.

The members of the jury record their individual opinions using an Individual Evaluation Form (IEF), giving scores and also comments against the evaluation criteria.
When scoring proposals, the members of the jury must only apply the evaluation criteria mentioned in the IEF.

They will assess and mark the proposal exactly as it is described and presented by the applicant. They do not make any assumptions or interpretations about the project in addition to what is contained in the submitted application. Concise but explicit justifications may be given for each score.

Signature of the IEF also entails a declaration that the expert has no conflict of interest in evaluating the particular application.

2.3. Consensus meeting

Once all the members of the jury have completed their Individual Evaluation Form, they will send their forms to the UIC Director of the Department for Fundamental Values, with a copy to the IRRB chairman.

The UIC will prepare an overview for the IRRB Chairman who will confirm the preliminary results or might propose a consensus meeting when individual evaluations differ too much in score in order to arrive to a common view.

The consensus discussion is moderated by the UIC Director for Fundamental Values. The role of the moderator is to seek to arrive at a consensus between the individual views of members of the jury without any prejudice for or against particular applications or the organisations involved, and to ensure a confidential, fair and equitable evaluation of each application according to the evaluation criteria.

The members of the jury attempt to agree on a consensus score for each criterion and on suitable comments to justify the scores and to be used as background for the UIC Award ceremony.

The outcome of the consensus step is the Consensus Report. This will be signed/approved (either on paper, or electronically) by the moderator and IRRB chairman.

There will be no correspondence about the outcome of the evaluation with the applicants. A ranked list of the applications will be drawn up and be published on the UIC Innvoation Awards 2018 website.

Only the winners will be personnally notified and invited for the Awards ceremony

 4. Young Researchers Awards

All conditions for evaluation and rewarding of applications submitted under the "Young Researchers Awards" section are stipulated on the official online form webpage.

  • Individual Evaluation Form
Individual Evaluation Form - UIC Innovation Awards 2018

 5. Contacts

Mr. Dennis Schut
IRRB secretariat
Tel: +33 (0)6.0901060

Fax: +33 (0)

Application form