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Public-private partnership to boost research and innovation in rail

Public-private partnership to boost research and innovation in rail

The Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking (S2R JU) is a public-private partnership created to coordinate and manage European Union (EU) research and innovation in the rail sector. Based in Brussels, it seeks to implement the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme to build EU leadership in rail technologies.

ACT

Council Regulation (EU) No 642/2014 of 16 June 2014 establishing the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking.

SUMMARY

The Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking (S2R JU) is a public-private partnership created to coordinate and manage European Union (EU) research and innovation in the rail sector. Based in Brussels, it seeks to implement the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme to build EU leadership in rail technologies.

WHAT DOES THIS REGULATION DO?

It establishes the S2R JU until 31 December 2024. It describes the JU’s objectives and tasks, its structure and organisation, as well as its funding.

KEY POINTS

It is the technological component of the single European railway area. It seeks to achieve a more competitive and resource-efficient EU transport system and to address issues, such as rising traffic demand, congestion, security of energy supply and climate change.

Objectives

S2R deals with all rail research and innovation activities co-financed by the EU in accordance with the following general objectives that contribute to:

the implementation of Horizon 2020, particularly part of the smart, green and integrated transport challenge;

the achievement of the single European railway area;

a faster and less costly transition to a more attractive, user-friendly (including for persons with reduced mobility), competitive, efficient and sustainable rail system;

the development of a strong and globally competitive rail industry.

It plays a major role in rail-related research and innovation. It manages all EU rail-related research and innovation actions as well.

Master plan

S2R draws up and implements a strategic master plan addressing five themes:

cost-efficient and reliable trains, including high-speed and high-capacity trains;

advanced traffic management and control systems;

cost-efficient and reliable high-capacity infrastructure;

IT solutions for attractive railway services; and

technologies for sustainable and attractive European freight.

This plan is translated into results-oriented annual work plans with detailed investment plans.

Research andinnovation actions

The JU supports research and innovation mainly through grants to its members and other participants by means of procurement or the award of grants following calls for proposals.

The rules for participation and dissemination of the Horizon 2020 programme apply to the S2R JU.

Organisation and operation

The partnership comprises the European Commission and Alstom, Ansaldo STS, Bombardier, Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), Network rail, Siemens and Thales & Trafikverket. The JU is a form of legal entity created for the purpose under Article 187 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

The JU comprises:

a governing board in charge of strategic decision-making; and

an executive director responsible for day-to-day management.

The European Commission and the industrial JU members have equal voting rights in the governing board. There are also two advisory bodies: a Scientific Committee and a states representatives group.

S2R JU encourages the involvement of railway equipment makers, infrastructure managers, railway companies, metro, tram and light rail operators, conformity assessment bodies, professional staff associations, user associations, relevant scientific institutions and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The European Railway Agency (ERA) also advises the JU and provides expertise on interoperability and safety issues.

Budget

The EU financial contribution to the S2R JU amounts to a maximum of €450 million from Horizon 2020. To access this funding, the rail industry has to commit to a contribution of at least €470 million, so that the entire estimated budget of the S2R JU is at least €920 million for the period 2014-20.

Additional funds may be allocated from other EU instruments, such as the Connecting Europe Facility, to support actions for the deployment of products that have been developed by the S2R JU and show promising results.

WHEN DOES THIS REGULATION APPLY?

This regulation applies from 7 July 2014.

Further information is available on the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport website.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Council Regulation (EU) No 642/2014

7.7.2014

-

OJ L 177, 17.6.2014, pp. 9-33.

RELATED ACTS

Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-20) and repealing Decision No 1982/2006/EC. (Official Journal L 347 of 20 December 2013, pp. 104-173).

Council Decision (EU) 2015/214 of 10 February 2015 endorsing the Shift2Rail Master Plan (Official Journal L 36 of 12 February 2015, pp. 7-7).

Last updated: 17.02.2015

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