Research and innovation – enablers of strong and resilient rail services

Research and innovation – enablers of strong and resilient rail services

ERRAC, the European Rail Research and Advisory Council, fully supports proposals being made by the sector for a new iteration of the ‘Shift2Rail’ Joint Undertaking and its rail research programme. The proposals for a new ‘Institutional Partnership’ under Horizon Europe are being considered this month by the European Commission, with a view to creating a draft Regulation – and then adoption through co-decision of the European Parliament and Council. 

The rail sector is asking for a €1.5bn EU funding contribution towards the successor of the Shift2Rail’ Joint Undertaking within Horizon Europe. The benefits to European people and business from an enhanced, modern, efficient and fully connected railway that optimally operates within an integrated mobility system are immeasurable and will also contribute to a sustainable recovery post COVID-19.

The longer-term existential challenge posed by climate change is an area in which rail’s potential contribution must be optimised. The ‘EU Green Deal’ is the European Commission’s main priority but its objectives can only be achieved by empowering railways. Rail transport must be recognised by all stakeholders as a key contributor to the solution.

Now more than ever, the need to future-proof this essential contribution to our economy, environment and society is clear. Research and innovation are critical in enabling a strong and resilient rail service, trusted by users and which will serve and protect the people of Europe for decades to come.

ERRAC calls for all those with an interest in Europe’s future to back these proposals and ensure they are supported by the Member States.

ERRAC brings together all stakeholders in the railway sector to place rail transport as the backbone of Europe’s mobility. Through research and innovation, we develop a sustainable, competitive and customer-friendly railway as part of Europe’s multimodal transport system. For more information, visit https://errac.org or follow ERRAC on Twitter and LinkedIn.

For more information, please contact Mr. Andrei CIUFU at: Andrei.CIUFU@unife.org