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In answer to its 2020 Call for Proposals, the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking has received 43 proposals for a total value of €185.8 million and a funding request of €113.3 million (almost 50 per cent more compared to the available funding). Eight proposals were submitted under the Call for Members, while 35 proposals were submitted under the Open Calls, with a request for funding nearly three times the available budget.
Shift2Rail is the first European rail public private partnership tasked with developing strategically focused research and innovation (R&I) and market-driven solutions, integrating these to create the railway systems of the future. With a total value of €920 million for the period 2014-2020, funded through the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union (EU), Shift2Rail is promoting the competitiveness of the European rail industry, ensuring the attractiveness of rail as a safe and sustainable low carbon transport mode. In this way, Shift2Rail aims to meet the changing transport/mobility needs of EU citizens and the economy.
With its 2020 Call for Proposals, and in only four years, Shift2Rail will have invested in R&I activities €770.2 million cumulatively (including Lighthouse Projects) accomplishing its mandate to recover the initial delays and accelerate the delivery of the Programme’s innovative solutions.
Together with the sector, the Shift2Rail Programme is consolidating its position to move the railway sector forward, towards a major system transformation to contribute to Europe’s most sustainable and digital mobility and transport for freight and passengers.
This Call for Proposals is special for two reasons: firstly, the projects starting under this Call will work in an unprecedented context, contributing to help Europe in its recovery from the coronavirus crisis; secondly, the projects selected will build on the results already achieved, in most cases, to demonstrate market impact and to transition into the next Programme’s ambitious R&I targets.
Commenting on the participation results of the 2020 Call for Proposals, Shift2Rail’s Executive Director, Carlo Borghini, said: “Despite the critical situation we are in, such a promising number of proposals demonstrates the rail sector’s commitment and capacity to meet new challenges with resilience. Rail research and innovation has an important role to play in Europe’s recovery, and Shift2Rail together with its Members and partners stands ready to deliver.”
Shift2Rail, together with a renewed pool of highly qualified independent experts, will now start the evaluation of the proposals. The results are expected to be announced by the end of July 2020. The R&I actions related to this Call are expected to start during the last quarter of 2020.
This article first appeared on www.globalrailwayreview.com
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