Shift2Rail, the Joint Undertaking backed by the Commission and the rail industry, has today published its first calls for proposals, endowed with €170 million to support innovation in railways. The Commission will contribute €90 million, with the other €80 million being brought by the members of Shift2Rail. In order to be funded, projects will have to demonstrate their ability to increase the quality, reliability and punctuality of rail services while cutting its costs and facilitating cross-border travel.
This first batch of calls covers the five Shift2Rail Innovation Programmes and is split into two categories: calls reserved for Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking members only, for a total value of €63.7 million, and open calls for a total value of €26.1 million. The open calls will be available to companies, universities, research institutes and others who are not Shift2Rail members.
Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport said:“Investing in innovation is critical to create jobs and get Europe to grow, two main priorities of the Commission. With today’s calls for proposals, we want to pool the expertise from stakeholders towards these goals. Keeping European rail at the forefront of innovation will open new markets globally for our companies. It will also make rail more attractive for passengers and businesses. This is essential to reach our ambitious transport decarbonisation objectives.”
The founding members of the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking will be joined by 19 associated members from across Europe following the Commission Decision of 8 December 2015.