The regulation on establishing Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking and nine other European Partnerships which will accelerate green and digital transition entered into force on November 30, 2021.
In addition to the EU, the new partnership will consist of additional 25 Founding Members, from the rail supply industry, rail operating community, infrastructure managers and research. They will conclude their membership by signing the letter of commitment in the next days and attend the first Governing Board planned for 21 December 2021.
The formal event to launch the new partnership will take place in early 2022, in the framework of the French Presidency of the European Union.
The joint undertaking is established under the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme and is succeeding the Shift2Rail JU.
“Never before have I seen so many experts and senior managers, from the European Commission, the candidate founding members, the sector, working so hard in the past two years, to achieve this major milestone. The commitment and tangible results delivered by the Members and other beneficiaries of Shift2Rail are recognised today in the launch of the new partnership and the major increase of resources to contribute to delivering sustainable and smart mobility and transport, where rail is the backbone,” Europe’s Rail Executive Director, Carlo Borghini, said.
Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking, the largest European rail research and innovation programme ever will deliver activities worth EUR 1.2 billion realised by its selected Founding Members and other beneficiaries who will be joining via open calls. These activities will be funded by the joint undertaking with the resources provided by the Horizon Europe programme of the European Union, up to EUR 600 million.
“Rail innovation must be collaborative, bringing together manufacturers, operators, digital solutions, and logistics providers. At the same time, leading globally in greening transport opens up important market opportunities. Europe’s Rail is one of our most promising ways to offer solutions for the deployment of new technologies on the market,” the European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean, said.
The objective of Europe’s Rail JU is to deliver a high capacity integrated European railway network by eliminating barriers to interoperability and providing solutions for full integration, covering traffic management, vehicles, infrastructure and services, aiming at faster uptake and deployment of projects and innovations. This should exploit the huge potential for digitalisation and automation to reduce rail’s costs, increase capacity, and enhance its flexibility and reliability, and should be based upon a solid Reference Functional System Architecture shared by the sector, in coordination with the European Union Agency for Railways, while supporting the development of a strong and globally competitive European rail industry.