Europe’s Rail allocates the first grants for railway research and innovation

European rail has Reserve financing of €232.8 million for six major multi-year flagship projects.

The funding has been awarded under the first call for proposals for railway research and innovation (R&I) activities under the European Railway Joint Undertaking.

These projects, together representing an investment of €568.4 million, will mark the start of these R&I activities.

Advanced operational and technological solutions will be deployed in the European network based on the results of the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking.

These projects would cover the areas of European rail network management, automation and digitization of rail operations, as well as sustainable and resilient systems and rail freight from a supply chain perspective and regional lines and capillaries.

The call for proposals 2022-1 was open to eligible entities in accordance with Horizon Europe’s rules for participation.

It will contribute to broadly representing the European railway value chain, ranging from the scientific and research community to the main integrators and railway companies.

Over 200 entities from 14 countries will focus on developing new solutions for European rail under the 2022-1 call for proposals.

European Commission Director General for Mobility and Transport, Henrik Hololei, said: “This summer we have seen an increase in rail passenger numbers in many parts of Europe.

“Unfortunately, we have also seen overcrowded trains and congested stations, raising questions about whether our rail system is able to cope with the increased demand.”

The European Rail Joint Undertaking aims to implement the projects selected by a jury of independent experts.

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Mary I. Bruner