EUROPE: On July 1 the heads of 11 major rail sector suppliers signed a declaration of intent to establish a Joint Technology Initiative to bring about a 'step change' in industry-driven research and development.

To run during the European Commission's next Framework Programme for Research & Innovation, which starts in 2014, the JTI will aim to increase the capacity and attractiveness of rail transport, as well as the competitiveness of European manufacturers.

The signatories anticipate that virtually all European suppliers will become involved with the JTI, which will be run by consortium members and managed though partnerships between operators, infrastructure managers, academia and other stakeholders. The total financial commitment of the signatories could reach €800m over seven years.

JTI declaration of intent signatories: Alstom Transport, AnsaldoBreda, Ansaldo STS, Balfour Beatty Rail, Bombardier Transportation, CAF, Faiveley Transport, Invensys Rail, Knorr-Bremse, Thales Group, Siemens Mobility.