May 19, 2011

ESI welcomes the RAILENIUM project funding allocation by the French government

Paris – ESI Group has announced that the company will benefit from the French state funding allocation for RAILENIUM, a railway infrastructure project in which the company is taking part. On May 9, France’s Higher Education and Research Minister along with the General Investment Delegate announced that government funding was approved for the RAILENIUM project as part of the “Invest in the Future” program (National Borrowing Plan).

RAILENIUM, which stands for European Institute for Technological Research dedicated to Railway Infrastructure, aims at taking the lead in R&D, innovation and engineering training for railway infrastructures, as well as promoting the excellence of French and European technology. With this government grant, RAILENIUM benefits from a total budget of 550 Million Euros.

"ESI has warmly accepted to join the RAILENIUM consortium, which is made up of industrial companies, universities and local authorities of the Nord-Pas de Calais and Picardie regions, where there are unequaled competencies in the field of rail and ground transportation. The RAILENIUM project aims to form a global Research and Technology Institute for rail. The participation of ESI will allow us to better define and validate our numerical simulation software solutions for the railway industry and leverage international collaboration with the consortium members,"said Alain de Rouvray, Chairman and CEO of ESI Group.

Built on the foundations of the I-Trans business association, RAILENIUM benefits from the backing and experience of a strong consortium:

Industrials, led by the RFF (French Railway Network) and including 24 other companies: ESI Group, ALSTOM, BOUYGUES, EUROTUNNEL, SNCF and more;

Public research stakeholders, including 8 universities and led by the University of Lille Research & Higher Education Department;

Local authorities from the regions of Nord-Pas de Calais and partners.

To this date, ESI is the only software editor included in the list of RAILENIUM members.

The RAILENIUM Technological Research Institute will strive to meet industry needs for the next generation of rail transport technology, in line with environmental restrictions. Leveraging public and private partnerships in the fields of research, training and innovation, the institute will spur innovation and enable equipment certification. The institute will provide equipment and research platforms unique in Europe, including 5km long trial tracks, tram trial tracks, fatigue simulation tracks, dynamic trail platforms, service structures.

The RAILENIUM institute is expected to increase scientific knowledge in material properties, specifically related to material reliability and carbon footprint. It will also contribute to improving management systems. ESI will help drive the development and usage of numerical simulation and modelling in order to cut R&D costs, speed up innovation, and reduce the number of physical prototypes thanks to virtual prototyping.

"Most of the research and development programs within the RAILENIUM project are perfectly in line with ESI’s core competencies, especially the program n°7 based on numerical modelling and virtual prototyping for the pre-registration by calculation; a program coordinated by Pr. Mohamed Ali Hamdi, Professor at the Compiegne University of Technology (UTC) and Vibro-acoustics Scientific Director at ESI Group," added Argiris Kamoulakos, General Secretary of ESI Group’s Scientific Committee.