Agency details the importance of data protection for industry-sponsored research programs
Springfield, Va., October 6, 2022
ENSCO was featured in the September 22, 2022, digital issue of Railway Age on the transition of the new contract and changes the FRA anticipates under new management at the Transportation Technology Center (TTC) in Pueblo, Colorado. The Commentary article, "TTC’s Second Half-Century: An Expanded Role," by FRA officials Dr. Maryam Allahyar Wyrick and Sean Woody, provided readers with an update on the expansive new research and training capabilities at the TTC, the important safeguards on data privacy and protection for commercial partners using the facility, and ENSCO’s role as the new contractor taking over management on October 1, 2022.
The article states, “Through the new contract, FRA seeks to expand government use of the facility. The agency asked potential operators to specify how other DOT modal agencies such as the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and other federal agencies like the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) might use the premises, permitting more collaborative research and training.”
As part of the TTC contract, ENSCO is permitted to use the TTC to research, test and train with commercial partners as they develop new equipment and technology on several test tracks, in labs or training facilities on the property.
In the article, the FRA officials addressed the important issue of confidentiality of data collected at the TTC: “Since the selection of ENSCO was announced, a lot has been said about the safeguarding and protection of proprietary information and data. For its part, FRA has always preserved the integrity of intellectual property and striven to ensure the confidentiality of research findings associated with it. We will continue to fully respect intellectual property ownership and maintain all appropriate confidentiality protections. Furthermore, FRA will only receive data and technical results from DOT-funded research. To be clear, all data from industry sponsored research activities will remain the sole intellectual property of the entity who funds it.”
As it begins its management responsibilities at the TTC, ENSCO has formed strategic partnerships with several companies and universities to support its work at the world-renowned research facility and the expansion of the scope of the contract. The Railway Age article continues, “While TTC has focused almost exclusively on railroad research since its establishment, the new era at the locale will usher in more uses. Among other agencies interested in undertaking work there is the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). FRA anticipates that new proposed test beds and capabilities will enable work on autonomous inspection and nondestructive testing technologies.”
Authors of the Railway Age Commentary were Dr. Maryam Allahyar Wyrick who leads FRA’s Office of Research, Development and Technology, and Sean Woody, Chief of the Track Research Division in FRA’s Office of Research, Development and Technology.
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