On 24 May 2022, the ERRAC Plenary Meeting brought together high-level representatives from the European Commission, Europe’s Rail and the railway and public transport sector to discuss rail research priorities, sector developments and challenges to be tackled. It was the first physical meeting since 2020, while participants also had the opportunity to join online.
After opening words by ERRAC Chair Roland Moser, keynote speeches were provided by the European Commission. Philippe Froissard, Head of Unit Future Urban & Mobility Systems (DG RTD) and Keir Fitch, Head of Unit Interoperability and Safety (DG Move) took the stage. They gave a comprehensive overview of the EU Research & Innovation Programme, specifically of Cluster 5 for Climate, Energy and Mobility. Relevant calls for the rail sector were discussed, and discussions emerged how to put rail at the forefront of research and innovation activities in the EU.
After, Giorgio Travaini, Head of Programme at Europe’s Rail, presented EU’s Rail Integrated Work Programme and its expected impacts. Results from previous rail projects were presented, as well as how they contributed to more sustainable transport, increased competitiveness and overall, a better rail sector.
The last two guest speakers were Maria Tsavachidis, CEO of Barcelona-based EIT Urban Mobility, and Bart Biebuyck, Executive Director of Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking.
The Plenary also highlighted the activities from the various ERRAC Working Groups, including ongoing activities in preparation for the Transport Research Arena (TRA) Conference 2022 (November, Lisbon). The rail associations showed their strong support to the conference to ensure maximum visibility of the rail sector in the event’s 2022 edition.
Finally, all Plenary Members approved the ERRAC Manifesto of Future Mobility, which was launched the week after the meeting. You can read it here!