Sercant Ltd

Integrating and Exploiting Information

Research and Innovation Activities

Michael was Director (Technical Co-ordinator) of Ontime, an €8M research project to optimize rail capacity through integrated traffic management and timetabling.  The project is co-funded by the European Commission under FP7

The consortium is composed of railway companies, academic institutions, SMEs and industrial companies - 19 partners from 7 European countries.

As Director, Michael successfully led the consortium in the bid to secure EU Commission co-funding and was selected by the consortium to continue leading the project.  He then led the definition of the production specification, vision and principles, successfully maintaining the coherence and cohesion of the project ensuring focus on the ultimate outcome and how it should be disseminated.

Through the bid process and during the project, Michael successfully managed and resolved the conflicts that were inevitable in such a diverse group of partners.

Prior to Ontime, Michael was a member of InteGRail, an FP6 co-funded project that researched the integration of information in the rail industry and ways of sharing information between Infrastructure Managers (IMs) and Railway Undertakings (RUs).

Exploiting Research

Too often, the results of research and innovation projects are not exploited and never reach production systems.  The transition up the Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) is often stalled.

It is not enough for the results to be of high quality.  The market needs to recognise that quality and it is up to the research project to make it happen. So, the project must understand how the results will be disseminated to the target users from the beginning and approach the project with a strategy for achieving it. This begins at the time that the project is initiated and includes the choice of partners.

At the same time, the quality and direction of the research must not be compromised by an attempt to oversimplify the results to make them appealing.  Achieving the balance is crucial and a skill in which Michael is experienced.