The last edition of the Shift2Rail Innovation Days, before we kick-off the new Europe’s Rail Innovation Days, were held on 9-10 December bringing together over a thousand participants from across Europe and beyond, as well as more than 40 plenary and 100 webinar session speakers. Thank you to all the viewers and speakers who made the event a success!
The two-day event included the official kick-off by the Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium and Minister of Mobility, Georges Gilkinet, who spoke about the future of rail from a Belgian and European perspective.
Director-General for Mobility and Transport, Henrik Hololei spoke about the importance and achievements of the European Year of Rail and the expectations he has for the new Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking.
During the opening session, we were especially excited about the success of the driverless train demonstration from the Czech Republic carried out by our Members AŽD, Thales and Kontron. The demo is a clear evidence of the progress achieved in our R&I programme.
Viewers also had the opportunity to listen to two very interesting panel discussions on the Transformation of the European Rail and the Space for Innovation in Rail. The high-level speakers offered their perspective on what Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking should focus on in the coming years.
The closing and Awards ceremony in the presence of the Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Adina Valean, Walter Goetz, provided a strong message on the expectations for the Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking partnership, especially in the context of the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy.
The parallel technical sessions were the opportunity to present to the rail sector and to the decision-makers the progress of our innovation programmes achieved thanks to the hard work and dedication of our Members and partners. The parallel sessions attracted a strong interest from the rail community and gathered up to 250 viewers per session, clearly demonstrating the interest in the work we are doing.
As our Executive Director Carlo Borghini said during his closing remarks, we are looking forward to working together with the sector in the new Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking where the focus will be to integrate the R&I into a global system approach to deliver the rail system of the future.