Source: Knorr-Bremse announcement

MUNICH — A new organization is about to take over from Europe’s Shift2Rail research program – and Knorr-Bremse is one of 25 founding members. The new Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking (ERJU) initiative will form part of the EU’s Horizon Europe research program (2021–2027), acting as a cornerstone for the development of a series of digital and green solutions for the rail industry.

Dr. Jürgen Wilder, Member of the Executive Board of Knorr-Bremse AG and responsible for the Rail Vehicle Systems division, discussed ERJU’s relevance, “Tomorrow’s eco-friendly mobility must give greater weight to passenger and freight transportation. To achieve this, we need innovations – both to boost transportation capacity, and to create an even more environmentally compatible, efficient and economical rail network.

“So, the fact that major players in the European rail industry – including Knorr-Bremse – are now pooling their expertise in Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking is an enormously important step. Together, we can lay the foundations for a new generation of rail technologies and redefine the whole concept of rail travel and transportation within Europe’s future mobility landscape.”

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After the official launch date, November 30, 2021, ERJU will be a fait accompli. Founded by 10 major network and rail operators, 13 manufacturers (including Knorr-Bremse) and two research firms, as well as the EU, the ERJU will receive funding to the tune of more than €1 billion, of which the EU will contribute some €600 million.

Whereas Shift2Rail focused primarily on developments affecting rail vehicles, rail vehicle subsystems, and rail infrastructure, the ERJU will concentrate on digitalization, automation and networking clusters at all levels of the rail industry.

The ERJU mission is to lay the foundations for pioneering technologies for the future rail sector by focusing on eight innovation clusters dubbed Flagship Areas, and by reaching collective agreement on the requisite standards and norms.

The rationale is simple: The industry-wide market launch of new technologies will only be successful if their operational characteristics, features and specifications are jointly coordinated at an early stage.

“Based on our many years of active membership in ERJU’s predecessor, Shift2Rail, and the key role we continue to play in many ongoing Shift2Rail projects, we at Knorr-Bremse believe we’re in an excellent position to exert a decisive influence on the technology roadmap for the European rail sector over the next ten years,” added Dr. Nicolas Lange, Chairman of the Management Board of Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems and responsible for the company’s R&D activities.

To view the entire announcement, click HERE.