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Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking (S2R JU) 2018 Call for Proposals for Research & Innovation activities will fund 19 projects worth €152.6 million.
The new projects aim to accelerate the transition towards the next generation of railway systems in Europe and S2R’s co-funding will amount to €77.3 million.
The Joint Undertaking Members will undertake seven of the new projects selected in the Call for Proposals 2018. Members’ activities will have a total value of €134.1 million.
Henrik Hololei, Director-General for Mobility and Transport at the European Commission, said: “This is a crucial opportunity to invest in projects that will make railways safer, more flexible and more reliable but also cheaper to maintain. Innovation is essential for rail to become the preferred transportation option for tomorrow.”
Additionally, another 12 Open Call projects, open for applications to any entity in the EU and associated Horizon 2020 countries, have been selected for funding. These projects have a total value of €18.5 million, 95.7 per cent of which will be funded by the European Union.
In total, 185 participants will develop new solutions for railway systems under the 2018 S2R Call for Proposals. SMEs represent 31.5 per cent of the entities selected in the Open Call projects.
Carlo Borghini, Executive Director of the S2R JU, commented: “We are entering an interesting phase with some of the projects approaching system prototype demonstrations, testing the results from ‘paper’ research in real-life conditions. Some of them will also try to implement radical new ideas. We want to boost research activities while supporting disruptive innovation to advance railway systems.”
After this Call for Proposals, S2R will have cumulatively invested €490 million in research and innovation activities, which corresponds to more than half of its 2014-2020 Budget.
The new selected projects will build on the results of past projects. S2R showed at InnoTrans 2018 more than 20 cutting-edge initial demonstrations for key technologies, such as connected trams, moving block over ETCS for mainline networks, intelligent freight terminals and video gates, and obstacle detection devices.
This article first appeared on www.globalrailwayreview.com
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