November 29, 2023

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PolyU And MTR Groups to Explore Railway Technology Application

Image Credits: PolyU, Press Release

The MTR Corporation and MTR Academy (MTRA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) on a three-year collaboration to establish a partnership to focus on exploring advanced and innovative railway technologies and facilitating smart railway assets and operations management, as well as intelligent maintenance.

Leveraging the railway expertise of the Corporation and MTRA, together with the research competence of smart railway technologies of PolyU, the MoU sets out a framework for the parties to explore innovative solutions and technology applications to further enhance the performance of railway operations and smart maintenance with smart sensing technology.

The collaboration areas include exploring smart solutions for monitoring and condition assessment on railway assets, exploring the establishment of a joint laboratory for rail-technology application, as well as research related to improving the operating environment, for example, passenger flow management in stations.

The MoU was signed by the Chief Executive Officer of MTR Corporation, the Acting President of MTR Academy,  the President of PolyU and the Vice President (Research and Innovation) of PolyU.

The Chairman of MTR Corporation stated that the MTR Corporation will adopt technology in all of its services and operations to actively promote the MTR’s corporate strategy `Transforming the Future’. The Corporation is determined to allocate substantial resources to the application of innovative technology. It is hoped that collaborating with academia can promote the development of a smart railway can be promoted.

The Chief Executive Officer of MTR Corporation stated that the group looks forward to working with PolyU, an institution with outstanding academic and research achievements in railway technologies, to co-develop smart solutions and application-oriented innovation to further enhance our service quality. It is also expected that the partnership can create opportunities for young talents and encourage them to utilise their creativity and innovation capability.

The MTR Corporation and MTR Academy have been working with PolyU in the field of railway technology and the development of railway engineering expertise, including a project for setting up optical fibre sensing on MTR track sections.

The Council Chairman of PolyU stated that the University is pleased to deepen its collaboration with MTR Corporation. PolyU places great importance on scientific research and is devoted to translating research excellence into real-world applications. The University’s close partnerships with industry partners are aimed at creating breakthroughs in research in different fields to respond to societal needs.

Meanwhile, PolyU’s President, noted that PolyU’s substantial research competence in smart railways and smart cities will gain more opportunities to be transformed into real-world industry solutions through the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with MTR Corporation and the MTR Academy today, hence promoting technological innovation in smart railways for the benefit of Hong Kong, the Nation and the world.

MTR Corporation has already allocated over HK$300 million for investment in start-ups in the next few years, and more funding will be reserved for similar projects in the future.

Recent research notes that the smart railways market is expected to grow from US$26.0 billion in 2021 to US$41.2 billion by 2026, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.6% during the forecast period. Major factors driving the growth of the smart railways market include the need for efficiency in rail operations, high demographic growth and hyper-urbanisation enhancing the need for efficient railway systems, technological advancements targeted toward the enhancement of customer experience, increase in government initiatives and Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), and adoption of IoT as well as automation technologies to enhance optimisation of smart railways.


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