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Worth €147.7 million, the 19 projects will be funded under the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking (JU) 2020 Call for Proposals for research & innovation (R&I) activities. Shift2Rail’s co-funding will amount up to €75.4 million and the new projects will deliver key Shift2Rail results through technological demonstrators and pave the way to the successor programme.
The Shift2Rail JU Members will undertake eight of the new projects selected in the Call for Proposals 2020. Members’ activities will have a total value of €125.7 million, co-funded by Shift2Rail up to €55.4 million.
Eleven additional Open Call projects, open for applications to any entity in the EU and associated Horizon 2020 countries, have also been selected for funding. These projects have a total value of €22.0 million, of which up to €20.0 million will be funded by the Shift2Rail JU.
In total, 242 participants will develop new solutions for railway systems under the 2020 Call for Proposals. SMEs represent 29 per cent of the entities selected in the Open Call projects.
Carlo Borghini, Executive Director of the Shift2Rail JU, said: “This is an important transition moment for Shift2Rail and the rail research and innovation community at large. These new projects are our ticket to moving into the successor programme and beyond R&I to market uptake of our forward-looking solutions. At a time when the expectations from rail are high, we stand ready to work together with our Members and partners on these new projects which will start in an unprecedented context, contributing to Europe’s recovery from the Coronavirus crisis as well as the achievement of the European Green Deal goals.’’
With this Call for Proposals, and in only four years, Shift2Rail will have invested its full budget of €0.4 billion cumulatively in research and innovation activities (including Lighthouse Projects) accomplishing its mandate to recover the initial delays and accelerate the delivery of the programme’s innovative solutions. This will result in research and innovation activities performed by the members and third parties estimated at €1.0 billion by the end of the programme, with a measurable leverage effect: a tangible answer to European policy objectives expressing the needs of rail clients and freight businesses.
The results achieved so far, brought to the technological demonstrators’ level by these new projects, are a sign of the sector’s deep commitment towards a major rail system transformation for Europe’s most smart and green mobility and transport for freight and passengers: the sector’s High Level Paper on Transforming Europe’s Rail System is a strong confirmation of this endeavour.
This article first appeared on www.globalrailwayreview.com
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