Innovation Award of European Railway Clusters goes to DB Cargo AG, Perpetuum Ltd. and TRAXENS at InnoTrans 2018

  • DB Cargo AG (Germany) is the winner of the ERCI Innovation Awards 2018 in the category “Best Large Enterprise” for the Fully Automated Hump Yard Locomotive – Demonstrator (VAL2020)
  • Perpetuum Ltd. (United Kingdom) is the winner of the ERCI Innovation Awards 2018 in the category “Best SME” for Wireless Sensor Nodes including vibration and temperature sensors, an energy harvester, a microprocessor and a wireless transmitter >>More information
  • TRAXENS (France) is the winner of the special jury prize “Coup de Coeur” of the ERCI Innovation Awards 2018 for the Digital Freight Train.

19 September 2018 in the afternoon at InnoTrans: The European Railway Clusters Initiative (ERCI) awarded the trophies for its annual Innovation Competition at InnoTrans 2018 in Berlin. The awarding ceremony was hosted by the ERCI partner Cluster Transport, Mobility and Logistics Berlin-Brandenburg at Berlin Partner for Business and Technology, one out of 11 research and innovation driven railway technology clusters from 9 European countries. ERCI that represent the interests of more than 1,000 European railway companies, mostly SME’s.

In his keynote Carlo Borghini, CEO of Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking, outlined the future perspectives of European rail research. “Digitalization, automation and the rapid development of new technologies are unlocking a radically different approach to mobility, creating the opportunity to capitalize on the strengths of railway systems by integrating them with services covering the first and last mile, for sustainable, seamless and integrated mobility.”

DB Cargo AG from Germany received the award as “Best Large Enterprise” for the Fully Automated Hump Yard Locomotive – Demonstrator (VAL2020). Based on a cooperation between DB Cargo AG, Nuremberg University of Applied Sciences and AAIT GmbH, this project aims at introducing a fully automated shunting yard locomotive. Equipped with sensors for recognition of people or objects on the tracks as well as freight wagons, the locomotive adds additional efficiency, reliability and safety to the shunting yard operation. It now automatically approaches freight wagons to push them over the hump to the designated area and finds the way back to its track. It is possible to install this functionality on older shunting yard locomotives as well, applying innovative system integration.

Perpetuum Ltd. from the United Kingdom received the award as “Best SME” for Wireless Sensor Nodes including vibration and temperature sensors, an energy harvester, a microprocessor and a wireless transmitter. Perpetuum’s self-powered, wireless sensing technology, combined with its vibration engineering expertise and rich analytics, provides real time information that enables the rail industry to optimise railway operations. “We are delighted to win this award, against strong competition from across Europe”, explains Justin Southcombe, Perpetuum’s Commercial Director. “Our technology, combined with the valuable and transformative information we are providing operators has been recognised as a true game changer in managing rail assets.”

The special jury prize “Coup de Coeur” was awarded to TRAXENS from France for the Digital Freight Train. TRAXENS has designed and implemented in a 2-year timeframe a revolution for the Freight train. With an in-depth knowledge of the industry from SNCF Logistics, industrial partner on this project, combined with TRAXENS’ breakthrough technology, the partners produce a bright vision for the future of rail freight. The solution brings a digital transformation of the freight transport industry allowing a global, scalable and multimodal supply chain solution. Florence Delalande, Rail Business Unit Director at TRAXENS comments: “Inherited from the Shipping Industry, TRAXENS Digital Freight Train has been designed to work worldwide and manage any type of asset which means that rail freight can be connected to the rest of the supplier chain anywhere, to explore and leverage door-to-door multimodal applications. We are thrilled to receive this industry recognition which comforts us in our strategic vision of the market.”

Vincent Genz, Managing Director at SIUT GmbH, a Berlin based start-up and winner of the ERCI Innovation Award 2017, emphasized the importance of strengthening the visibility of innovative SMEs for the European rail system. “It was an honour to receive this coveted award. This award showed us one more time to be exactly on the right on the right track with our innovation. What a motivation for our young team!“

About ERCI Innovation Awards:

The ERCI Innovation Awards recognize companies from ERCI partner clusters that have successfully introduced innovative products or solutions to the market. The prize is initiated by the European Railway Clusters Initiative (ERCI).
The categories of the ERCI Innovation Awards are:

  • “Best Large Enterprise”
  • “Best SME”
  • “Coup de Coeur” special jury prize

The term of the award is annually. Hosting of the award ceremony rotates among the ERCI members. The 2018 awarding ceremony was hosted by the Cluster Transport, Mobility and Logistics Berlin-Brandenburg at InnoTrans 2018 on Wednesday, 19 September 2018.
The awarding ceremony, which took place at the Berlin-Brandenburg joint booth in the CityCube, hall B, on Wednesday, 19 September 2018, was organised by the ERCI partner Cluster Transport, Mobility and Logistics in Berlin and Brandenburg at Berlin Partner of Business and Technology. The ERCI Innovation Awards Ceremony took place for the fourth time in 2018:

About ERCI

The European Railway Clusters Initiative was founded in 2010 with the signature of the cooperation treaty on InnoTrans 2010. Member clusters of ERCI are:

The 11 partner clusters represent more than 1,000 companies from railway industry from all over Europe. ERCI aims aims to promote innovation and the development of new business opportunities as a means of sustainably bolstering competitiveness within the European railway industry. ERCI fosters collaboration between industry and research, initiates innovation projects and organises B2B meetings and workshops. This also includes the promotion of good visibility and networking at EU level.

Projects with participation of ERCI partner clusters include:

  • PERES (Promoting European Rail Excellence outSide EU), an ESCP 4i partnership under the roof of the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ESCP). More information:
  • RECORD (Regions in Europe Coordinate and Optimize innovation and competitiveness policy instruments towards improving the sustainability of transport – study case of SMEs in the railway sector). More information:


European Railway Clusters Initiative (ERCI)