The Shift2Rail Dialogue on the Future of Research & Innovation, held on 19 June 2018 in Brussels, was an ideal platform for railway stakeholders to address policy and industry expectations. Participants expressed their strong support for the continuation of rail research and innovation within the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking during the next EU programming period 2021-27.
The event gathered 150 representatives of stakeholders working in areas related to railways. Participants included mainline, freight and urban operators, infrastructure managers, manufacturers, passengers, workers, shippers, public bodies, research organisations, scientific institutes and policy makers —demonstrating how working together is key to achieving a transformation for the next generation of railway systems.
The event consisted of two panel discussions. The first one, composed by representatives of the research community, focussed on how a successful public-private partnership should look like, how different communities can work together and what the EU’s research priorities should be.
The second panel, gathering nine representatives from the industry, operators, passengers and workers, offered a broad view on the expectations of the rail sector for the upcoming years.
The participants supported the creation of a new edition of Shift2Rail and highlighted important elements to be considered when designing a new ambitious programme, capable of meeting the expectations of customers, passengers and freight users.
The conclusions drawn from the event will be summarised in a document that will support the business case for a strong investment in research and innovation for railways, covering all aspects of the research and innovation value chain.