The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) at the University of Birmingham is a group of over 130 academics, researchers, and professional support staff, who deliver world class research and thought leadership to the rail industry.
As part of its work on preparing for the Digital Railway of tomorrow, BCRRE staff investigate fundamental questions about the use of electronic information in the transport domain; from the collection and structured storage of raw data, through efficient processing and algorithms, to the secure delivery of appropriate information to staff in a timely manner. A key element of this work lies in the development of ontologies for the rail industry, and the BCRRE team are always looking for novel tools that can efficiently manage the ontology models, and help the team produce representative case studies for presentation to industry stakeholders.
Late in 2016, the BCRRE team chose to partner up with ERTMS Solutions and work with our ODASE platform. Under the partnership agreement, ERTMS Solutions have granted the University of Birmingham academic licenses to use the Odase platform, with the aim of increasing the impact of their research in the global railway industry.
ERTMS Solutions is specialized in the development of innovative products for the railway signaling world, and is the first company providing industrial-strength ontologies for the railway market, thanks to the ODASE platform.
The role of ontologies is to replace the complex web of end-to-end integrations commonly found in industrial ICT systems with interfaces based on a common understanding of the semantics of the underlying data, allowing customers to reduce total lifecycle integration costs and enjoy limitless extensibility. Ontologies act as a glue between the vertical railway solutions performing the essential business functions.
ODASE is the only all-in-one Ontology-centric development platform currently rolled out in the industry. It consists of:
- a design-time interactive development environment, “ODASE Workbench”, to create, edit, test and explain rules conforming to the SWRL W3C standard;
- a compile-time API generator making the ontology (OWL, RDF, SWRL) usable by software developers using Java or C#; and
- a run-time environment, “ODASE Platform” to build and execute ontology-centric applications.
John Easton, University of Birmingham: “We are really looking forward to working with ERTMS Solutions and the Odase platform: the demonstrations we’ve received have convinced us of the potential benefits to the industry from the use of this tool. Our team has worked on the development of ontologies for many years now, and we’ve been waiting for a tool to be developed that made the work we’ve done at an academic level accessible to industry professionals.”
Stanislas Pinte, CEO ERTMS Solutions: “Partnering up with a prestigious university such as BCRRE, and be part of significant academic projects, is very valuable for ERTMS Solutions. It also confirmed that Ontologies are part of the railway IT landscape of tomorrow.”