News Release – Members of Rail Forum Europe welcome the Rail Industry’s Coordinated Approach to Innovation and Research

BRUSSELS, 17 NOVEMBER 2011Innovation & Research for a more competitive European rail sector was the title of Rail Forum Europe’s 3rd event held at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 15 November, this timesponsored by UNIFE, the European Rail Industry. Main focus of the discussion amongMEPs and rail stakeholders was the Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) SHIFT2RAIL, which was presented by the chairman of the respective UNIFE Steering Committee, Mr Josef Doppelbauer. 

 
SHIFT2RAILrepresents a large-scale collaborative effort of the rail sector to support the objectives of the Transport White Paper. As a first step, thirteen of the largest European rail supplierscommitted to combining research activities in order to make rail more attractive, more performing and a fully interoperable across the European continent. In particular, the initiative will result in improved energy efficiency, main line capacity, lifetime of infrastructure and safety. For this purpose, the rail industry is closely cooperating with all stakeholders, such as railway operators, infrastructure managers an SMEs. “The JTI is coming together and gaining support. We are keen to develop European technology for the world market”stated Josef Doppelbauer.
 
Liam Breslin (Head of Unit on Surface Transport at DG Research and Innovation) welcomed the European rail industry’s willingness to step up and combine rail research efforts in Europe as the proposal is very much in line with the Transport White Paper. He reiterated the need for a truly cross-sector collaborative action, includingall relevant stakeholders such as rail operators, infrastructure managers, and assigning a central role to SMEs and assure an appropriate representation across the board including all EU member states.
 
Jean-Eric Paquet (Director on European Mobility Network at DG Move) highlighted that it is time to invest in rail research as rail has been underfunded in research so far.EU Funding should be provided in addition to the existing R&I-budgets of the industry. Investing in rail research would also be a way to boost the EU economy at a time of major financial crisis. Therefore, he expressed support to the SHIFT2RAIL initiative.
 
Malcolm  Harbour (Chairman  of the European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and Member of Rail Forum Europe) welcomed the JTI initiative ofthe rail sector and encouraged the consortium to find research & development synergies with other transport modes.
 
Wrapping up, Brian Simpson, Chairman of the EP’s Transport Committee and Rail Forum Europe President, welcomed the UNIFE initiative as an unprecedented effort to combine large-scale rail research and called uponthe European rail sector to open up more to such innovative initiatives.
 
Rail Forum Europe will hold its fourth event on 24 January 2012. At this occasion, the MEPs will address the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) in Europe.
 
The presentation made by Josef Doppelbauer and Jean-Eric Paquet and the minutes of the meeting can be found here.
 

To download the press release in pdf, please click here.

For further information, please contact:info@rail-forum.eu
 
+++ ENDS +++

 

About Rail Forum Europe

Founded by 15 Members of the European Parliament from across the parliamentary committees, Rail Forum Europe is an international non-profit making association that aims at bringing together EU decision-makers and the rail sector to achieve a better understanding of rail-related issues.

 

Rail Forum Europe is governed solely by a Managing Board of MEPs, the President of which is Mr Brian Simpson (Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Transport and Tourism).

 

Rail Forum Europe. The MEPs’ platform dedicated to rail transport .

Categories Latest News | Tags: | Posted on December 14, 2011

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