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EUROPE: The Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking that is co-ordinating EU railway research over the next decade has issued its first call for proposals, under which it will provide €234m to back rail innovation projects worth €390m.

The six themes in the call for proposals are:

  • a sustainable and green rail system;
  • sustainable, competitive, digital, green rail freight services;
  • regional rail services/innovative rail services to revitalise capillary lines;
  • intelligent & integrated asset management;
  • network management planning and control & mobility management in a multimodal environment and digital enablers;
  • digital & automated up to autonomous train operations.

Applications should be submitted by June 23 2022.

‘Europe’s Rail and its partners play a key role in making rail travel future-proof’, said Henrik Hololei, Director-General for Mobility & Transport at the European Commission, on March 10. ‘The call for proposals launched today will fund projects driving digitalisation and automation within rail, and further improving environmental performance in line with the EU Green Deal and Sustainable & Smart Mobility Strategy objectives. I count on diverse, European consortia to respond in large numbers, to help us make rail more efficient and competitive.’

Factors to be take into account include geographical coverage, gender balance, equity creation, synergies and openness.


The Europe’s Rail JU is led by Carlo Borghini.

‘I am looking forward to receiving applications from a variety of entities eligible under Horizon Europe, ensuring that we have an open and inclusive programme, bringing together the research community, SMEs, operators, infrastructure managers and suppliers’, said Europe’s Rail Executive Director Carlo Borghini.

Another call for proposals covering exploratory research and other activities is to be launched in the second half of 2022, to be followed by further yearly calls.