This year, major railway industry contractors, equipment manufacturers, suppliers, sub-contractors, public transport authorities and operators, institutional players, and researchers will be gathering at the 8th SIFER Exhibition with a common goal: to embrace cooperation as a means of remaining competitive.
The French railway industry is universally acknowledged for its technological excellence. Nonetheless, in a world of increasingly intense international competition, embracing new ways of operating will be a decisive factor in maintaining a leading position on the international stage. New forms of collaboration will, without question, be a major driver of competitive advantage, especially in markets which call for long-term commitment, and which require—more so than others—collaborative forms of working.
Accordingly, this year, SIFER—the only international railway exhibition in France that cuts across all segments of the industry—will be hosting its 2013 edition under the banner of cooperation. Without a doubt, in uniting their forces, players across the industry—be they research laboratories or SMEs, equipment manufacturers or key accounts—are effectively enhancing their competitive advantage. Whether through business clusters, novel forms of industry-research cooperation, or new approaches to contractor-supplier relations, many of them have already begun imagining, designing and developing innovative solutions for the transport industry of tomorrow.
SIFER 2013 – Supporting clusters and regional-authority involvement to create new synergies that create competitive advantage
To maintain their competitive advantage, several railway industry players have already begun to group together in clusters. In pooling their resources in this way, they have been able to develop innovative solutions, reduce costs, and preserve or even boost economic activity within their territories, and in so doing, promote employment.
As exhibitors at SIFER 2013, these organisations, grouped together in 5 regional pavilions, will provide a showcase for the opportunities afforded by and the concrete results achieved through these new modes of collaboration.
Here is what Mr. Pascal Pin, Director of Mipyrail Innovation, has to say about their experience: "Since 2010, the MipyRail Innovation cluster has acted as a catalyst, enabling companies based in the Midi-Pyrénées region to establish closer ties with major industry contractors. Several joint undertakings have since been initiated. Clustering companies within the same industry has several advantages. For instance, the various forms of cooperation engendered by the process makes it easier for SMEs to gain access to export markets. Further, the mere fact of "rubbing shoulders" with other companies involved in related businesses enables a more global view of a business' environment, making it easier to anticipate needs. And by pooling resources, greater visibility can be achieved. Our presence at SIFER illustrates this perfectly. At SIFER, we have planned to set up a welcome area where all of our members can meet, exchange ideas, and arrange business appointments.”
Railway clusters attending SIFER, grouped together in 5 regional pavilions
Northern France Rail
Northern France Rail: A common name for a common purpose, i.e., to promote the Nord-Pas de Calais and Picardie Regions railway cluster. Northern France Rail is an umbrella organisation which brings together several regional railway-industry companies and research and training centres, as well as a number of institutional players involved in the development of the sector.
Neopolia Rail Cluster
Based in the Pays-de-la-Loire Region, Neopolia Rail Cluster is a grouping of 37 companies whose aim is to pool their know-how to provide innovative solutions in response to the needs of the railway market.
MipyRail Innovation is a railway-industry cluster comprising 21 companies from the Midi-Pyrénées region. Its members account for some 5,400 jobs, across all areas of the industry, and include infrastructure providers, rolling-stock manufacturers, electronic system suppliers, software houses, and providers in the field of support, testing, maintenance and renovation. Its primary goal is to promote Midi-Pyrénées' railway sector.
The Seine-et-Marne CCI (Chamber of Industry and Commerce) provides support for companies at national and international trade shows in the industrial, medical, defense, aviation, energy and environmental sectors.
The Bourgogne Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry represents industrial interests at the regional level. At SIFER, with the backing of the Regional Council, it organises the attendance of local companies in the rolling-stock sector (precision machining and mechanics, sheet metalwork, bodywork, industrial painting, braking systems, hydraulic components,...).
1st French Railway Industries Association (FIF) Conference: "The Future of the French Railway Industry". 27 March 2013
This conference will address the issue of the strategic benefits, for France, of developing a more structured, better organised, and consolidated railway industry that is sustainable in the long term.
ARF Transport des régions de France Commission. Wednesday 27 March 2013
A meeting of regional representatives (Transport Directors and Vice-Chairs in charge of Transport) to discuss issues relating to the railway industry.
SIFER 2013 – Major industry contractors and Suppliers: a win-win relationship
The relationship between major industry contractors and suppliers is changing. The combined effect of the current challenging economic situation and the need to find new ways of improving performance to remain competitive provides a powerful incentive for greater cooperation. Yann Mazloum, Director of the Strategy and Supplier Relations Division in SNCF's Rolling Stock Purchasing Department expands on the topic: "The relationship between major industry contractors and suppliers is a complex one. An SNCF supplier can be, at the same time, a customer, partner, and competitor. Our aim is to be able to engage with our best suppliers as partners. As our relationships are based on long-term trust, relationships based on the sole reduction of purchasing costs are really quite remote to us. In an increasingly competitive environment, SNCF, as a customer of and a major player in the railway industry, needs high-quality suppliers to develop its competitive advantage. And this is beneficial to the entire industry. For example, we are currently engaged in a number of joint projects based on structured relationships with suppliers. And hosting our annual rolling-stock supplier convention at SIFER this year will allow us to further advance the exchange of views on our respective aims and expectations.”
SNCF and Agoria-SNCB will be meeting their suppliers at SIFER 2013, creating a unique opportunity to build long-term relationships based trust, and to better understand each party's specific expectations.
Wednesday 27 March 2013
Information session hosted by Agoria, entitled "The SNCB Purchasing Department": New organisational structure, strategies & procedures, and the 2025 investment programme.
Open to Agoria members only
Tuesday 26 March 2013
SNCF Rolling-Stock Supplier Convention
Open to SNCF suppliers only
Thursday 28 March 2013
Seminar entitled "Purchasing rolling stock": SNCF's policy on the issue.
Open to all
SIFER 2013 – Promoting research-industry partnerships to invent the means of transport of tomorrow
As the cornerstone of modern-day mobility, rail must meet a number of new challenges, such as the increase in traffic, security issues, regularity, compliance with environmental regulations, equipment and infrastructure maintenance, etc. Confronted with these multiple challenges in the areas of technical progress, economic performance and environmental compliance, the railway industry has embraced innovation as the cornerstone of development strategies in the sector. More than ever before, collaboration between research and industry players will be a decisive factor.
To highlight the major challenges facing the industry, the 8th SIFER exhibition will naturally give prominence to conclusive experiences in the area of research-industry cooperation. Among these are the Railenium Project, which seeks to promote the development of sustainable infrastructure. Alongside this emblematic project, most of the 450 expected exhibitors will be showcasing innovations that attest to the relevance of collaboration between the academic and industrial communities.
Focus on the Nord-Lock Group
The Nord-Lock Group has been specialising in bolt-securing systems since 1982. As an exhibitor at SIFER 2013, Nord-Lock will be presenting its latest innovation: a new-design washer offering the ultimate in uncompromising performance and security.
Nicolas Bert, Sales Engineer
"The Nord-Lock Group specialises in solving the most complex assembly problems. We provide a unique combination of expertise in the field of assembly, and a wide range of products—which includes, in particular, our wedge-locking technology and Superbolt tensioners—, all of which are designed and developed in-house by our Research and Development department.
New technologies and demands are creating new design challenges. On the occasion of SIFER, we will be presenting our new washer to the railway industry.
With our new generation of multifunction wedge-locking washers, we have taken bolt security to a new level. Nord-Lock X-series washers offer optimal security through a combination of two effects: Nord-Lock's exclusive wedge effect, which prevents spontaneous loosening, and an exceptionally effective spring effect, which compensates for loss of preload due to slackening. The X-series range is the ideal solution for applications where compromise is not an option."
Originally from Sweden, Nord-Lock now boasts a global presence with subsidiaries, laboratories and partners the world over.
Focus on the Railenium Project
Railenium is a Technical Research Institute project that is unique in Europe. It brings together an impressive array of research and testing capabilities with the aim of promoting sustainable railway infrastructure. Its objectives include: developing innovative technological solutions in the field of railway infrastructure; responding to the challenges of maintaining and/or enhancing competitive advantage in a rapidly changing market; and contributing to the advancement and harmonisation of certification processes at the European level.
Twenty-eight (28) partners have already adhered to the project, including industrialists, universities, public-private research partnerships, the Nord-Pas de Calais Regional Council, and several local and state authorities.
Innovation unveiled at SIFER
Tuesday 26 March 2013
At a ceremony organised by i-Trans, trophies will be awarded to two SIFER exhibitors for their innovations in the fields of "infrastructure" and "rolling stock and passenger information". Exhibitors' innovations will be judged on originality, energy efficiency, and economic and environmental performance by a jury of independent experts from different professional backgrounds (industry, research, local authorities).
Complementary aspects, such as the role of collaboration in developing the innovation (e.g., research-industry cooperation), filing of patents, and export achievements, will also be taken into account by the jury.
European B2B Meetings (Railway Sector)
Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 March 2013
The Nord–Pas de Calais and Picardie regional branches of the Enterprise Europe Network, in collaboration with with i-Trans, will be hosting a business convention and European technology matchmaking event that will afford participant the opportunity to:
- Sell and showcase their products, services, know-how, and research findings;
- Acquire new technology, products, skills, and research findings;
- Identify potential partners for joint R&D projects.
Thirty-minute long, one-on-one meetings with railway-industry companies and/or laboratories seeking new customers or partners will be scheduled during the exhibition.
SIFER 2011 at a glance
400 exhibitors (from 16 European countries; 25% of the exhibitors came from abroad), including Alstom, a Chinese delegation, clusters …
4,400 visitors (from 41 countries; 16% of the visitors came from abroad), including representatives from SNCF, Keolis, Bombardier, Siemens, RATP, and the Urban Communities of several of France's major cities.
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