The European Commission has proposed to set up 10 new European Partnerships of which Europe’s Rail partnership will have a key role for sector’s innovation. The partnerships will be established between the European Union, Member States and the industry to speed up the transition towards a green, climate neutral and digital Europe and to make European industry more resilient and competitive.
Under this policy, the EU will provide a funding of EUR 10 billion that the partners will match with at least an equivalent amount of investment. This combined contribution is expected to mobilise additional investments in support of the transitions, and create long-term positive impacts on employment, the environment and society.
Among the ten Partnerships, of which some are built on the joint undertakings, the European Commission proposed Europe’s Rail partnership which will speed up the development and deployment of innovative technologies, especially digital and automation ones, to achieve the radical transformation of the rail system and deliver on the European Green Deal objectives. By improving competitiveness, it will support European technological leadership in rail.
In August 2020, the EC launched Expression of Interest to the private and public entities interested to become a founding member of a new Rail European Partnership on research and innovation to succeed the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking.
“EU partnerships will have a central role to drive the twin green and digital transition for the mobility and transport sector. To make our ambitions come true, we need to develop disruptive technologies bringing zero-emission vessels and aircraft to the market, we need to develop and deploy cooperative, connected and automated mobility, and we need to enable a more efficient and modern traffic management,” Adina Vălean, Commissioner for Transport, said.
Key Digital Technologies is another partnership that will be responsible for electronic components, their design, manufacture and integration in systems and the software that defines how they work. The overarching objective of this partnership is to support the digital transformation of all economic and societal sectors and the European Green Deal, as well as support research and innovation towards the next generation of microprocessors.
Clean Hydrogen partnership will accelerate the development and deployment of a European value chain for clean hydrogen technologies, contributing to sustainable, decarbonised and fully integrated energy systems. Together with the Hydrogen Alliance, it will contribute to the achievement of the Union’s objectives put forward in the EU hydrogen strategy for a climate-neutral Europe. It will focus on producing, distributing and storing clean hydrogen and, on supplying sectors that are hard to decarbonise, such as heavy industries and heavy-duty transport applications.
Smart Networks and Services will support technological sovereignty for smart networks and services in line with the new industrial strategy for Europe, the new EU Cybersecurity Strategy and the 5G Toolbox.
Global Health EDCTP3, Innovative Health Initiative, Circular Bio-based Europe, Clean Aviation, Single European Sky ATM Research 3, and Metrology are the other partnerships which will help the EU to achieve its 2050 target to be the first climate-neutral continent.
The European Partnerships are approaches provided by Horizon Europe, the new EU research and innovation programme (2021-2027).
The proposed Institutionalised European Partnerships aim to improve EU preparedness and response to crisis, to develop a sustainable transport through efficient low-carbon aircraft for clean aviation as well as increase the role of railways and make it more competitive. In addition, the partnerships will ensure European leadership in digital technologies and infrastructures.