SHIFT 2 RAIL: a step forward in European leadership through innovation

The necessary investment to redefine rail research will be €1,000 M in an estimated period of 7 years.

Within the new innovation framework program “Horizon 2020”, Shift2Rail combines the joint effort of the European rail sector and the European Union to redefine rail research, focusing on three core objectives:
< Improving the capacity of the European rail network to cope with the growing demand for passenger and freight
< A higher quality and reliability of rail services, which will also result in greater security for the passenger.
< Significant reduction in life-cycle costs of the whole network.

All this with a total investment amounting almost 1,000 million euros in an estimated 7-year term. From the operational point of view, we find significant differences between Shift2Rail and its predecessors, such as the mode of execution and commissioning selected: Member States, on a proposal from the European Commission, have decided to create a public-private partnership and stable over time or Joint Technology Initiative (JTI). Also, through the establishment of the relevant Joint Undertaking (JU) has created a public-private organization (with participation of Member States, European industry and resources of the Commission) with legal personality that goes into effect and manage the funds allocated through calls and tenders.

Types of actors
In the Shift2Rail JU, three types of actors are involved, in terms of their contribution and decision-making:
< Founder members: Alstom, AnsaldoSTS, Bombardier, CAF, Network Rail, Siemens, Thales and Trafikverket
< Associates: research centers, universities, enterprises and operators throughout Europe
<Colaborators/sub-hired: through calls for proposals

Thus, thanks to the high degree of commitment from the private sector (both financial and material resources), all projects that will be developed under the umbrella of Shift2Rail have a better and more direct access to the market. We are talking about commercial, more tangible and easy solutions to appreciate by the end user, and with a much more visible effect.

The activity of Spain
The Spanish participation in this initiative is more than significant, demonstrating once again the magnificent international positioning of the Spanish railway sector.
Mafex and collaboration with UNIFE, has worked to promote and encourage the presence of partners.
Thus, as already mentioned, one of the founding members is the company CAF; Indra will be on the Government Panel (which will have a total of 22 companies and is chaired by the European Commission); and the program will also feature the participation of Talgo and Acciona.
We must also emphasize the critical role research centres will play as the Alliance IK4 and Tecnalia; universities such as the Basque Country (UPV), Polytechnic of Catalonia, Valencia Polytechnic; operators as ADIF, Metro Madrid, TRAM or Euskotren; and companies like Ineco, FCC and Arcelor Mittal.
But the best news for the rail industry is that since last June 16, the JU of Shift2Rail is now a reality thanks to the European Council, who adopted its rules following the favorable regulatory dictates of the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee, ending the legislative process and beginning a new era for the European railway sector.