CRRC and Khalifa University establish China-UAE Rail Transit Technologies R&D Centre

Khalifa University of Science and Technology and China’s China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) Qingdao Sifang Co., a global designer, manufacturer and maintenance provider of advanced passenger railway vehicles have signed a strategic cooperation memorandum to jointly plan and establish the China-UAE Rail Transit Technologies R&D Center in Abu Dhabi on 15 January 2020. Etihad Rail, developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway, will also be a key party in developing the center.

The memorandum was signed by Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice President, Khalifa University, and Dr Jiangying LIANG, Vice President and Chief Engineer, CRRC Sifang in Abu Dhabi. His Excellency, Hussain Ibrahim Al Hammadi, UAE Minister of Education and Vice Chairman of Khalifa University’s Board of Trustees, and Shadi Malak, CEO, Etihad Rail, were present on the occasion.

This institution would be the first in the Middle East region for CRRC Sifang, which already has four national R&D institutes in China. CRRC Sifang is one of the vital subsidiaries of CRRC and an industrialization hub for Chinese high speed trains.

The Center will focus on new technologies in rail transit industry, especially in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), big data and new composite materials for railway applications. Combining CRRC Sifang’s technology application experience and the scientific research capabilities of Khalifa University, the China-UAE Rail Transit Technologies R&D Center will carry out joint projects to significantly enhance the technological innovations for global and regional rail transit markets, while further strengthening the Sino-UAE technological cooperation.

“We are delighted to enter into this agreement with Khalifa University to jointly plan and establish the China-UAE Rail Transit Technologies R&D Center in Abu Dhabi. Through this agreement we will also offer our rail transit technology expertise to Etihad Rail that will help strengthen the UAE-China relations. We believe this hub will also help us explore new areas for business expansion in the nearby regions,” Dr Jiangying LIANG said.

The China-UAE Rail Transit Technologies R&D Center will aim to build a hub specialized in the latest rail transit technologies and focus on utilizing competitive advantages of the partners’ technological resources. The partners will additionally explore the possibility of launching communication forums and training programs between China and the UAE, to cultivate local and international talents.

In addition, they will seek to establish a platform and hub for all joint collaborations within the field of China-UAE rail transit industries, including co-participation and pushing forward of research projects agreed by all parties. ­— Construction+ Online

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