Joint Technology Initiatives (JTI) are a great opportunity for European companies to accelerate their product development and for research organisations to transfer knowledge to industry.
Shift2Rail and other Joint Technology Initiatives
Shift2Rail is one of the Public-Private Partnerships within Horizon 2020. Its overarching goal is to “develop better trains and railway infrastructure that will drastically reduce costs and improve capacity, reliability and punctuality”. Milestones on the way to reaching that goal are improving the quality and increasing reliability of railways, reducing congestion and CO2 emissions and cutting the costs of infrastructure.
A Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) is a partnership between public bodies such as the European Commission and private companies representing a specific industry sector. JTIs aim to address strategic areas where research and innovation are essential to European competitiveness. Other JTIs are active in the following areas:
- Innovative Medicines 2 (IMI2): Developing next generation vaccines, medicines and treatments, such as new antibiotics
- Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 (FCH2): Accelerating market introduction of clean and efficient technologies in energy and transport
- Clean Sky 2 (CS2): Developing cleaner, quieter aircraft with significantly less CO2 emissions
- Bio-based Industries (BBI): Using renewable natural resources and innovative technologies for greener everyday products
- Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership (ECSEL): Boosting Europe’s electronics manufacturing capabilities
All JTIs are implemented through dedicated legal entities, the so-called Joint Undertakings (JU). In the case of the Shift2Rail JU, the founding members were the European Union plus several representatives of the rail industry, including rail equipment manufacturers as well as railway infrastructure managers. Each JU organises its own research agenda and awards funding for projects on the basis of open calls.
accelopment, Shift2Rail and Joint Undertakings
Mat4Rail is one of 17 research projects that have recently been selected for financing under the 2017 Call for Proposals. The proposal managed to secure funding despite a record high of submissions (53 proposals for all 10 “Open Call” topics). Mat4Rail is aiming to reduce train weight by replacing metal parts with Fibre Reinforced Polymers (FRPs) and increase capacity and passenger comfort via built-in modularity of train interior design. The proposal writing as well as the grant preparation process for Mat4Rail was supported by accelopment and we will be further involved in the project as a partner for project management and project dissemination.