ERRAC Steering Committee
The Steering Committee (ESC) is the body responsible for the operational management of ERRAC’s activities. It is the highest decision-making body that initiates and implements ERRAC’s general policy which reflects the overall goals and missions established by the plenary meeting. For strategic decisions about ERRAC’s scope and focus, the Steering Committee needs approval from ERRAC’s Plenary assembly.
The Steering Committee is also responsible for the creation, composition and operation of the working groups and permanent advisory groups established for the effective functioning of ERRAC. Finally, the committee oversees the activities of the secretariat and the production of the various ERRAC documents such as resolutions, decisions, messages, reports, dissemination materials, etc.
The ERRACS Steering Committee:
- Provides strategic direction for ERRAC’s future work, railway research and innovation.
- Reviews the future work program and recommend approval to the ERRAC Plenary.
- Manages the establishment of working groups and PAGs including leadership arrangements for these groups.
- Manages leadership arrangements including nominations for Chair and Vice-Chairs, and for the various working groups
- Ensures regular reporting from and approve proposals made by the working groups and PAGs regarding ERRAC recommendations for future EU-funded research innovation programmes.
- Compiles and analyses research findings for potential implementation within the sector and supports proposed operational deployment ideas arising from the working groups.
- Liaises with national and European funding and policy-making bodies (sector, government, public, etc.) as well as other relevant bodies and agencies.
- Link to other European and national institutions and equivalent bodies for technical platforms in other sectors.
- The Steering Committee may also, as and when relevant, include a number of observers invited to attend by the Chair.
The Steering Committee consists of:
- The Chair
- Two vice-presidents (one of whom is from the academic community)
- Two representatives of end-user associations (freight and passengers)
- Two representatives of associations representing the railway company
- A representative of the rail supplier’s trade association
- A representative of the vehicle owners’ association
- A representative for combined transport by rail
- A representative of the urban transport operators’ association
- Three representatives of companies from the Railway Operating Community (ROC)
- Three representatives of the rail supply industry
- Two representatives from the city operators
Chair and Vice-Chairs
The Chair, playing a neutral and supervisory role, is held by a senior person from amongst the ERRAC stakeholders and alternates on a rotating basis between the rail operating community (ROC) and the manufacturing industry.
He/she interacts at senior level with other sector and research players, representing ERRAC and promoting its activities towards external parties and high-level representatives, supported by the Vice-Chairs and the Secretariat as necessary.
There are two Vice-Chairs, one is appointed from either the rail operating community or the manufacturing industry such that there is a balance of sector representation between the Chair and Vice-Chair. A second Vice-Chair is appointed from the academic community.
The 3-year appointment of the Chair and the two Vice-Chairs is endorsed by the Plenary based upon a proposal of the Steering Committee.
The Secretariat provides the working structure for ERRAC. The secretariat is composed of a two-person team, drawn from rail operating community and the rail manufacturing industry.
The Secretary is nominated following the same rotating process as the ERRAC Chair (i.e., alternating between the ROC and the rail manufacturing industry) so that the Chair and Secretary do not come from the same stakeholder organisations.
Alongside the Secretary, the ERRAC Secretariat consist of three Working Groups and the Permanent Advisory Groups. All Working Group Chairs are nominated and approved by the ERRAC Plenary.
Working group 1: Strategic program group
The Strategic program group develops the ERRAC Research & Innovation agenda and defines strategic research areas for action at EU and national level, setting priorities and merging stakeholder strategies to a common rail sector roadmap.
Working Group 1 is tasked to:
- Develop technology route maps and implementation plans, initiating ERRAC sub-working groups for the key topic (e.g., automation, e-mobility, urban mobility, digitalisation) if, when and where necessary.
- Provide technical advice for the various rail R+I Initiatives around Europe (e.g., STRIA).
- Provide inputs for strategic funding development.
- Represent the rail sector in strategic working groups of the European Commission and Europe’s Rail.
- Initiate political actions to promote future rail innovations and for market uptake and implementation.
Working group 2: Project group
The Project Group initiates and support R&I cooperations of ERRAC stakeholders, fostering communication and collaboration between all ERRAC stakeholders, coordinating initiatives and helping to leverage investment.
Working Group 2 is also tasked to:
- Follow-up of the various projects/events ERRAC is asked to provide a contribution in – such as Transport Research Arena (TRA) and InnoTrans.
- Provide a platform for knowledge exchange and co-operation for ERRAC stakeholders at national and European levels.
- Initiate and foster new collaboration relationships with the other ETPs (e.g., ERTRAC, ALICE, WATERBORNE, ACARE…), national research clusters and economic sectors for non-rail specific R+I activities.
- Provide networking opportunities with other economic sectors.
Working group 3: Communication
The communication group is driving, supportive and advisory in all kinds of communication matters.
Working Group 3 is tasked to:
- Formulate core messages and supportive arguments to focus and highlight ERRAC’s value creating contributions.
- Conceptualise event and communications packages, in association with the ERRAC Secretariat, to enable proactivity and value-creating activity.
- Operate, manage and support ERRAC’s communications, in collaboration with participating representatives, to achieve transparency for our stakeholders and ensure that what is communicated is both accurate and relevant.
PAG – Permanent Advisory Groups
The PAG ensures promotes harmonisation between the proposed objectives and the work carried out by ERRAC, with strategies or programs planned at national level or within universities or research centres.
ERRAC has two Permanent Advisory Groups:
- One for academia and research institutions
- One for representatives from the Member States
Both groups are largely autonomous but report all their activities and decisions to the Steering Committee. The groups appoint their own chair.
The group is open to all interested parties such as member companies of ERRAC, academies, Member States, the European Commission and more.
Plenary meetings are held twice a year.
The ERRAC plenary shall:
- Ratify nominations for ERRAC chairmanship.
- Approve publications issued by ERRAC.
- Propose research and innovation development at European and national level.
- Propose collaboration with other ETPs.
- May conduct workshops and engagement sessions as needed to ascertain stakeholder views.