Europe’s Railway Research and Innovation set to receive a major boost resulting from the 2017 Shift2Rail Call for Proposals with proposed projects worth nearly EUR 200 million.
In answer to its 2017 Call for Proposals, the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking received 60 proposals for a total value of EUR 192.8 million and a funding request of EUR 136.5 million, equivalent to more than twice the available funding (EUR 60.8 million). With particular regard to the Call open to non-members, 53 proposals were submitted (on average five proposals per topic) with a request for funding nearly five times the amount available in the S2R JU Budget for 2017. Out of 412 participants, 29% are SMEs.
Henrik Hololei, Director General for Mobility and Transport reinforced his support to Shift2Rail stating “I am confident that the proposed projects will bolster Shift2Rail’s ambitious objectives to foster competitive research and innovation actions in the Railway industry through developing market driven solutions that meet EU transport needs.”
Carlo Borghini, the Executive Director of the Shift2Rail JU, expressed his satisfaction with the number of submitted project proposals, noting that: “In comparison to the number of topics available, the proposals submitted are almost double to last year. This confirms that the Shift2Rail JU is recognized as an efficient, open and transparent partnership to defragment research and innovation in order to bring together innovative solutions to the railway system. This is also one of the key elements contributing to the competitiveness of the European railway sector in the global market.”
The S2R Programme Office supported by independent experts, including those from the European Agency for Railway and GSA, has already started the process for the evaluation of the proposals which is expected to be concluded by early June 2017. Applicants should be informed about the outcome of the evaluations by mid-June 2017. The R&I actions related to these Calls are expected to start on the 1st September 2017.
Shift2Rail is the first European rail Public Private Partnership tasked with developing strategically-focused research and innovation (R&I) and market-driven solutions, and with integrating these to create the railway system of the future. With a total value of 920M€ for the period 2014-2020, Shift2Rail is promoting the competitiveness of the European rail industry and ensuring the attractiveness of rail as a safe and sustainable low carbon transport mode. We need it to meet the changing transport/mobility needs of EU citizens and the economy.
The Shift2Rail initiative successfully started over a year ago with the kick-off of four “lighthouse” projects with 52M€ of research paving the way for the main programme. In addition, since the beginning of 2016, the S2R JU members have been able to implement additional activities in support of the S2R JU work programme, which will add leverage and driving force to the Shift2Rail initiative.
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