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News (17/12/2015)

Shift2Rail launches first calls for projects worth €170 million

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.

Christos Economou, the interim Executive Director who has been in charge of setting up the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking added: "The launch of the first calls is an important milestone for the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking. I am convinced the Shift2Rail partners will deliver results that no single company, country or even the European Union as such would achieve alone."

More information on the calls

The calls for proposals and all relevant documents are accessible via the Participant Portal  and the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking website . The deadline for submissions of proposals is 17 March 2016, 17:00 CET.

An Info Day on the Shift2Rail open calls will be held in Brussels, Charlemagne Building on 20 January 2016. Any inquiries regarding the calls can also be addressed to : info-call@shift2rail.europa.eu 

Background information

The Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking ('S2R JU') was officially established on 7 July 2014 following the adoption by the Council of Regulation (EU) N°642-2014 establishing the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking on 16 June 2014 (see IP/13/1250 ).

The Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking has nine founding members: the European Union, represented by the European Commission, and eight members from the rail industry, consisting of rail equipment manufacturers Alstom, Ansaldo STS, Bombardier, Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), Siemens, Thales and infrastructure managers Trafikverket and Network Rail.

To ensure that the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking included all the key expertise needed to complete its mission, it was foreseen from the outset that the founding members would be complemented by associated members. In that respect, a call for expressions of interest to become an associated member of the Joint Undertaking was launched in October 2014 (see IP/14/796 ) and has resulted in the selection of 19 associated members from across Europe. These include representatives of the railway operating community (railway operators and infrastructure managers from 13 different countries), as well as specialist infrastructure and rolling stock suppliers and contractors, IT specialists, engineering service providers, high-tech SMEs, and research organisations and universities.

The long term investment planning of the JU is described in a strategic Multiannual Action Plan adopted by the S2R Governing Board in November this year.

See also

Commission Implementing Decision of 8.12.2015 on the selection of associated members of the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking pdf - 48 KB [48 KB]