EUROPE: The Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking’s 2019 call for proposals to receive European Union co-funding for research and innovation received 50 bids covering projects worth a total of €193·9m.

This is a 28% increase in the number of proposals from last year, with the €117·9m of co-funding sought being around 50% more than the €76·8m which is available under this year’s round.

The proposals will now be assessed, with the funding allocations to be announced by the end of September.

Shift2Rail is funded as part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme. There were 18 topics in the 2019 call, with six open to members of the joint undertaking and 12 to non-members; 42 of the proposals were for the open calls.

The submission of a significant number of proposals was confirmation that ‘a concrete delivery-oriented programme’ has been created, said Shift2Rail Executive Director Carlo Borghini on June 24.

Once the grants have been allocated, Shift2Rail will have disbursed more than half of its total research budget for 2014-20.