On November 19th the European Rail Research Advisory Council’s second Plenary meeting of 2021 brought together high level representatives from the European Commission, Shift2Rail and the railway sector to discuss rail research priorities in view of the new partnership for rail research, the European Rail Joint Undertaking (ERJU). The guest speaker, executive director of the waterborne technology platform Jaap Gebraad, introduced the platform and explored common research interests with the railway sector. From the commission side Director for Land Transport at DG MOVE Kristian Schmidt made strong statements in support of railways and underlined especially the role of the European Rail Supply industry as one of the leading global industries. From DG Research and Development Director for Clean Planet Rosalinde van der Vlies stressed the importance of cross sectoral collaboration under the new Horizon Europe program and also thanked ERRAC for its continued support over the past 20 years. It was the first plenary chaired by the new ERRAC chair Roland Moser who in his statements strongly committed to bringing the rail sector together to fully support the commission’s ambitions.
The plenary also highlighted the new ERRAC website and discussed the ERRAC involvement in the organisation of the Transport Research Arena (TRA) 2022. The rail associations showed their strong support to the conference to ensure maximum visibility of the rail sector in the event’s 2022 edition. All stakeholders are invited and encouraged to still submit their abstracts in order to present their research and Europe’s largest research and technology conference on transport and mobility.
The next ERRAC plenary will be held on the 24th of May 2022 in Brussels.