About the project

The Smart Rail Connectivity Campus (SRCC) is establishing a center for research, development, testing and qualification for approval in the innovative field of intelligent rail transport (Smart Rail) in Annaberg-Buchholz.

 

The Smart Rail innovation field addresses at least three global mega-trends: urbanization, ecologization and digitalization. Innovations in this field have the potential to make a major contribution to sustainable mobility and at the same time to the economic success of all companies involved in the value chain of rail transport, both at national and international level. However, the realisation of the various innovation possibilities is particularly challenging in view of the special features of rail transport (longevity of systems, approval issues, etc.) and the pronounced need for interdisciplinary cooperation.

In order to promote and realise innovations in this field, the project relies on a specific infrastructure with a unique selling point: Europe's first digital interlocking at the site and the availability of the topographically challenging (test) line Annaberg-Buchholz-Schwarzenberg. In addition, there is a successful project history and a multitude of potential network partners. Together, they form the basis for the establishment of a "digital test field Erzgebirge", using the railway infrastructure of the Erzgebirgsbahn and the intended development into a leading centre for research, development, testing and qualification for approval for the railway traffic of the future.

On the other hand, the project links many actors with different competencies into a network: in various fields of technology, regional SMEs, start-ups, large companies, regional and supraregional research institutions and municipalities work together. The network enables interdisciplinary, open and agile innovation processes characterised by trusting, fair cooperation. Large companies and research institutions benefit from the infrastructure of the "digital test field Erzgebirge" and the agility of the SMEs and start-ups. They enrich the region by giving their players access to excellent research, development and market competence.
This creates a new quality of a regional innovation system - which can initially make a decisive contribution to successful regional change in the innovation field of Smart Rail and, in the future, in other fields.

In summary, the "Smart Rail Connectivity Campus" alliance is pursuing the following vision in building the research campus for 2030:

  • a leading European development, prototype and testing location in Saxony,
  • Saxon innovation system: lively, open network, complementary competences,
  • Solutions for mobility in Saxony,
  • Pilot model for transfer to the Saxon economy,
  • positive economic effects for the Free State,
  • regional lighthouse and identification anchor for business and citizens of the Free State,
  • increased attractiveness of the TU Chemnitz and the scientific location Saxony.

The primary goal of the alliance is to initiate and promote innovations in the field of digital networking and communication in rail transport, which will gradually enable automated rail transport and the integration of rail transport into multimodally networked mobility services. These innovations have the potential to make a major contribution to sustainable mobility and to the economic success of all companies involved in the value chain of rail transport. However, the realisation of the manifold innovation possibilities is particularly challenging in view of the special features of rail transport (longevity of systems, licensing issues, etc.) and the pronounced need for interdisciplinary cooperation. A prerequisite therefore is the networking and cooperation of all partners from science and industry involved in the field of innovation. In the long term, a research and development campus in Annaberg-Buchholz with a university background is to be established for this purpose, in order to research, develop, test, refine and bring railway technology inventions to market. This is intended to strengthen the scientific and economic potential and the corresponding reputation of the region as a whole on the one hand, and the R&D competences and capacities of regional SMEs on the other, which in turn can serve as an incubator for spin-offs in this thematic field.

Using the specific potential of the region, the Smart Rail Connectivity Campus project aims to develop and implement modern, future-proof and sustainable rail transport. Railway technology is seen as an important field of innovation in which a foundation stone is to be laid for successfully initiating and managing the necessary industrial transformation process in the Chemnitz-Erzgebirge region. The field of innovation consists of the areas and topics shown in the illustrations.

At the Smart Rail Connectivity Campus the focus is on application-oriented research in order to solve specific practical problems in a timely manner in a practical and/or research network. On the other hand, basic research is carried out for the medium and long-term development and preparation of process and technological innovations. The research and development activities concern several highly relevant technology segments.