Facing “Horizon 2020” from the Spanish Rail way Technology Platform: The Spanish railway sector is facing the challenges of society

The new framework for research and innovation of the European Commission for the period 2014 – 2020 is an opportunity and a great challenge for the european rail sector


The funding that the railway sector will receive has in­creased significantly over previous framework programs, in­troducing new rules and ambitious expectations regarding the impact on market orientation towards so­ciety challenges.

Spanish Railway Technology Platform (PTFE)
Since its inception in 2005, the PTFE has enhanced the innova­tive capacity of our companies. Under the General Department of Public-Private Collaboration of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, with the development of its tech­nical secretariat by the Founda­tion of the Spanish Railways, it is conceived as a tool for the railway sector, led by industry that, with 403 members, defines the “long-term vision” and the “Strategic Research Agenda”. Its main mis­sion is to align the strategies of different actors, concentrate the efforts of R & D and reduce frag­mentation in the Spanish railway research area.

A great challenge: Shift2Rail (S2R)
The novelty of H2020 within the railway sphere is the S2R initiative, designed as a “joint undertaking” with a total budget of €920 mil­lion, of which a maximum of 450 billion come from European funds and the rest is funded by the par­ticipating entities.

Since 2011, with support from the Ministry of Economy and Finance and in close collaboration with the Centre for Industrial Technological Development, the PTFE has closely followed the evolution of the S2R initiative with the aim of promot­ing the participation of Spanish en­tities consistent with the relevance of our sector. Five S2R forums have been held, updated documents have been distributed in PTFE meetings, specific working groups have been created and meetings with key national and European agents have been celebrated. Fi­nally, a catalogue including R & D capabilities and an individualized attention to stakeholders has been implemented.

The industry has recognized the strategic importance of this ini­tiative and the opportunity cost of not being in it, mobilizing and po­sitioning itself during the prepara­tory phase. Currently, it can be said that all this hard and intense work, is paying off. A Spanish company, CAF, is among the nine founding entities that comprise the first-level structure, and within the Group of States, configured as an advi­sory body, CAF, which is part of the Ministry of Urban Works, has been named President.

Next steps in H2020
S2R is a living reality that is taking shape. The recent closure of the call for associate members, second level in the structure, is another step in its configuration, where Spain shares great expectations.

Other forms of participation should slowly take shape, such as the an­nual open calls that begin in mid 2015, the creation of the Scientific Committee, the possibility of par­ticipation by outsourcing, working groups…

PTFE will continue its work of in­formation and promotion of the participation of the Spanish rail­way sector, in all areas and for all types of entities, within the S2R ini­tiative, other H2020 areas where it can be accommodated, and other programs promoting technological capabilities and service of its mem­bers. It will focus on innovation and will promote a highly competi­tive business that is located in the Avant-guard and is an internation­al leader

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