Presidents and CEOs of European Rail Industry Commit to Joint Technology Initiative (JTI)
8 July 2011 • Author: UNIFE
Joining forces to meet the challenges ahead for the European rail sector, the Presidents and CEOs of the largest European rail suppliers companies Alstom Transport, AnsaldoBreda, Ansaldo STS, Balfour Beatty Rail, Bombardier Transportation, CAF, Faiveley Transport, Invensys Rail, Knorr-Bremse, Thales Group, and Siemens Mobility on 1 July 2011 signed a Declaration of Intent to launch a Joint Technology Initiative. This agreement paves the way for a step change into railway research and industry driven innovation.
“There are major challenges ahead for the European rail sector for the coming years. We need to increase capacity to be able to absorb a larger share of both passenger and freight traffic while at the same time enhancing the attractiveness and efficiency of rail transport in line with the EU Transport White Paper,” stated UNIFE Director-General Philippe Citroën.
A new step in railway research has been taken with an ambitious commitment of the largest European rail suppliers companies to create a single, Europe-wide and industrially-driven R&D programme that will help EU industry to address those societal challenges reinforcing world leadership through innovation.
Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs) are a way of implementing large-scale applied and industrial-based research activities, introduced with the 7th Framework Programme having already some successful implementation. It is the first time that the rail industry seeks to use such comprehensive research and development scheme, following examples such as the CLEANSKY initiative by the air industry.
The continuation of this instrument in the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and the creation of a new rail JTI will allow addressing – though technology innovation – a significant part of the future transport societal challenges. The work carried on within the rail JTI aims at increasing the overall efficiency of the rail transport system in Europe and to satisfy the needs and demands of the European customers, while increasing the competitiveness of the European rail manufacturing industry. It will allow for a major industrial effort, involving virtually all of Europe’s rail industry suppliers, including innovative SMEs, to accelerate the development of new technologies and bring them to the market.
The JTI will be run by the manufacturing industry consortium members and is not exclusive to the signatories of the Declaration of Intent. A significant part of the programme is to be managed via partnerships between railway undertakings, infrastructure managers, academia and other stakeholders through competitive calls for proposal and tender.
Depending on the final scope of the project and subject to the support provided by the European Union, the financial commitment of the signatories will amount to 600-800€ million Euros over a 6-7 years period.
Please click here to read the Declaration of Intent.