BCRRE and the Rail Alliance strengthen links in Serbia and South East Europe

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Alex Burrows, Director BCRRE, blogs about strengthening links with leading Serbian rail organisations and the opportunity this brings. 

I was absolutely delighted to sign cooperation agreements with two leading Serbian rail organisations here in Belgrade today (Wednesday 8 May 2019).

The first agreement signed is with the Faculty of Transportation and Traffic Engineering at the University of Belgrade.  The Faculty was founded in 1950 and has built a strong reputation for interdisciplinary research and education across transportation science.  Our cooperation will focus on collaborative research projects and on developing strong educational links between our institutions and I very much look forward to welcoming a number of Serbian students from Belgrade onto our postgraduate courses in the coming years.

The second agreement we have signed is with the Rail Cluster for South East Europe (RCSEE), who are hosting the Mobility Fair here in Belgrade today and tomorrow.  RCSEE is a fellow member of the European Rail Clusters Initiative (ERCI) with us and also a collaborator in Project PERES. 

We – BCRRE and the Rail Alliance – have signed these two agreements to build effective links across South East Europe with the aim of significantly growing our research, education and innovation activities with partners from this region.  In signing these agreements, we are expanding the reach of both BCRRE and the Rail Alliance.  Our aim is to develop exciting new opportunities for railway research and to collaborate with the rail industry in South East Europe to support the development of railway infrastructure to boost both passengers and freight on the railways across this region.  I am also very keen that we use our wealth of experience in railway education to boost the capabilities and skills of the rail industry.  I have had a number of very productive conversations with friends from the University of Belgrade and I am confident that we can jointly make a significant impact by providing specialist postgraduate railway education to a number of their students in the coming years.

In addition, our members of the Rail Alliance Community will benefit from future opportunities across this region, which is seeing increasing investment in railway infrastructure.  With these partnerships we will be able to offer UK SMEs support to explore this market and hopefully to grow their exports.

This has been a really constructive visit to Belgrade and I am really excited about the prospect of working with our friends in Belgrade and across South East Europe on railway research, education and innovation activities.

Alex Burrows,

Director, Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education

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