AusRAIL, Market Sectors

ARA and NICTA join up for innovation partnership

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) and the information communications technology research centre of excellence, NICTA, have together won a $36m, 3-year contract to act as a transport innovation research body. </span> <p>ARA and NICTA each bid separately for the $12m per annum contract, but their bids will now be merged into what will be called the Transport and Logistics Innovation Partnership.</p><p>It will include all modes in the transport sector, ARA said, and will represent almost 30 different partners, including Linfox, Patrick, Sydney Ports, Bombardier and Downer Rail, working alongside research organisations and universities such as the Australian National University, the University of Technology Sydney, Central Queensland University and the University of Western Sydney.</p><p>The partnership will receive $6m from the federal government each year to 2016/17, with another $6m per annum to be provided in cash or in-kind by industry and research partners.</p><p>The partnership will also have access to extra government funding through the Innovation Collaboration Fund.</p><p>“Key goals of the Partnership are to improve collaboration throughout the sector, boosting productivity and creating new jobs,” Rhianne Jory of the ARA told Rail Express.</p><p>Details of the partnership’s work program and projects are set to be discussed following the federal election, which takes place this weekend.</p><p>“The ARA and NICTA have many ideas for projects that will deliver significant benefits to Australia’s transport and logistics companies as well as our manufacturers, constructors and SMEs,” Jory said.</p><p>ARA chief executive, Bryan Nye, said the partnership was a positive and innovative approach to investment in the transport industry.</p><p>“This collaborative approach will create critical mass in areas of competitive advantage for Australia,” Nye said. “Through targeted activities, it will create more jobs for Australians, upgrade skills of the existing workforce and help firms grow their businesses domestically and internationally in the transport space.”</p><p>Victorian Transport Association executive director, Philip Lovel, was equally positive.</p><p>“This industry is huge and it connects everything,” he said. “You could say it’s worth $60bn but it could easily be more. The Transport and Logistics Partnership recognises that by being smarter, we can be more productive.</p><p>“With smart technology and collaboration, we could reduce our fuel emissions by 50 percent &hellip Working with NICTA and the other research institutions in the partnership, we think we can achieve some outstanding results and make a real difference to the industry, our customers and the community in general.”</p>