For its 8th edition, SIFER – the only international rail industry trade show in France – will be playing host to major industry contractors, equipment manufacturers, suppliers, sub-contractors, and public transport authorities and operators from 26-28 March 2013, at Lille Grand Palais.
The 3-day event is set to feature a rich programme of meetings, conferences and seminars, as well as technical tours of several of the region's emblematic railway sites, including Eurotunnel. The show will afford exhibitors a unique opportunity to showcase their know-how and their latest innovations in rolling stock, railway infrastructure, passenger transport technology and vehicle interiors.
Organised in the heart of a region which stands at the forefront of the French rail industry, SIFER is now widely considered as a key event for industry players facing the multiple challenges of market liberalisation, the quest for competitive advantage, and the pace of innovation.
SIFER 2013 – 3 exhibition halls dedicated to innovation in the rail industry
SIFER's ambition is to showcase the latest technological advances in the rail industry. More than 160 products and services will be on show, cutting across all sectors of the rail industry:
Rolling Stock: All the very latest innovations in vehicle design and on-board systems (passenger vehicles, locomotives, traction equipment, suspension systems, vehicle repair and refurbishment services, etc.)
Infrastructure: All products and services required for track construction and maintenance, signalling, electrification, measuring systems, surveillance, track and station safety, etc.
Passenger Transport Technology: Everything to do with the delivery of passenger information (display systems, interactive terminals, etc.), plus technological solutions for electronic ticketing and purchasing, access control, public address systems, reservations and data processing.
Rail Vehicle Interiors: All about passenger comfort: floor coverings, lighting, seat ergonomics, air conditioning, luggage compartments, sanitation facilities, etc.
SIFER 2013 – Partner and regional authority involvement
For the 8th SIFER exhibition, pride of place will be given to the French regions. Grouped together in regional pavilions, institutional players and companies from the French regions of Burgundy, Ile-de-France, Nord-Pas de Calais - Picardy, Loire-Atlantique, and Midi-Pyrénées will all be eagerly awaiting the opportunity to present their projects. Many of these regions are part of a growing trend that has been gaining momentum since SIFER 2011, i.e., the formation of clusters with a view to remaining competitive by driving innovation and promoting the responsiveness of French companies.
SIFER's organisers are joined this year by 5 new Official Partners:
Association of French Regions (Association des Régions de France, ARF)
ARF is the umbrella body for all of the French Regions.
It acts as a proactive source of proposals for the French government, Parliament, and all other national networks which work with the Regions to ensure that their views are taken into account during the legislative process.
ARF also represents and promotes the French Regions and their initiatives at various European institutions (European Commission, European Parliament, Committee of the Regions).
Alain Rousset, President of the Aquitaine Regional Council and ARF: “The Regions have a dual interest in the future of the rail industry: firstly, as the organising authorities for regional transport, and secondly, as actors for economic development. The Regions have long been committed to supporting this sector. Since 2002, we have invested some 7 billion euros in the purchase of new trains, not to mention our significant contribution to financing the renovation of the French rail network. Given the prospects for the development of public transport in Europe, the rail industry has a bright future ahead of it. SIFER provides the perfect opportunity to showcase French companies' know-how. Our partnership with the exhibition reflects our determination to support the rail industry and, consequently, rail-industry jobs in France”.
Fédération des Industries Ferroviaires (FIF)
FIF currently boasts more than 200 member companies, and represents the French rail industry across all sectors of activity, from rolling-stock and railway-equipment manufacturers to engineering firms, as well as companies in the track and signalling sector, and design and testing. The full chain of industrial activities in the rail industry is represented within FIF.
Jean-Pierre Audoux, General Manager of FIF: “SIFER is now internationally acknowledged as a key event in the rail industry calendar. This, combined with the fact that several of our members are exhibitors, was what prompted our federation to sign on as an Official Exhibition Partner for the first time. At the event, we will be hosting a seminar on the challenges facing the rail industry. We hope that it will attract as many companies as possible, and provide us with an opportunity to make new contacts. We also hope to be able to exchange ideas on several major issues of topical interest, such as the uncertainty in the rolling-stock market, growth in the urban transport sector, the future of inter-city trains and rail freight, the financing capacity of regions, exportation, global competition, etc. All of this with the aim of meeting the challenge we have set ourselves, which is to develop the French rail industry with the aim of consolidating our position as the world's third largest “.
Formed with the aim of promoting more sustainable, safer and more intelligent rail infrastructure, Railenium brings together an impressive array of research and testing capabilities that is unique in Europe. Railenium's ambition is to be able to offer, by 2017, a powerful, fully integrated research facility that will accelerate the process of innovation and time-to-market for innovative infrastructure-related products. The European Railway Test Centre (Centre d’Essais Européen Ferroviaire d’infrastructures, CEEF) will be one of the cornerstones of Railenium. Twenty-eight (28) partners have already signed up to the project, including industrialists, universities, public-private research partnerships, the Nord-Pas de Calais Regional Council, and several local and state authorities.
Jean-Marc Delion, Managing Director of Railenium: “Railenium is backed by the Nord-Pas de Calais region, together with Réseau ferré de France and numerous other partners. We have now reached the stage where we need to enhance the visibility of the project, and highlight the research and operational aspects among our future customers and partners. As a gathering of rail industry players, SIFER is a key vehicle for achieving that goal as it provides us with an opportunity to get closer to contractors, industrialists and research centres. Our aim is to enrol new partners into the Railenium project, and to remain closely attentive to the expectations of the market and its operators."
Eurotunnel holds the Concession until 2086 for the Channel Tunnel. Since 1994, almost 300 million passengers and 60 million vehicles have used this railway mode of transport, which has become a vital link between the United Kingdom and continental Europe. In addition to developing its core business, the Group is using its expertise to expand its scope of activity beyond the Tunnel, in its two primary business lines and areas of competence: infrastructure delegated management and rail transport.
Agoria is the federation which represents the Belgian technology industry. It also represents the Belgian rail industry. Of the federation's 1,600 members, more than 60 are involved in the rail industry and associated business sectors. Agoria takes part in round-table discussions organised by the Belgian railway safety authority (Service de Sécurité et d’Interopérabilité des Chemins de fer, SSICF/DVIS) on the development of legislation (i.e, the incorporation of European directives and regulations into Belgian law). The federation is a member of UNIFE, and a shareholder in Belgorail, a Belgian railway certification body. As the "sectoral operator" for the standardisation of rail products, Agoria brings proven expertise in standardisation and certification.
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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