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States Representatives Group of S2R meet to discuss R&I activities

Today, 21 March 2017, the States Representatives Group of S2R met to discuss the progress of the R&I activities, examine the initial plans for the 2018 Annual Work Plan and take note of the ongoing work on the review of the S2R Multi-Annual Action Plan and research and innovation beyond 2020.

In shaping the next version of the Multi-Annual Action Plan, expected to be adopted by the end of 2017, the S2R JU is discussing the future vision of the railway system focused on key concepts as zero emission, mobility as a service and user centric approach, achieving the SERA.

The current R&I work performed within the S2R JU and, in accordance with the Regulation, overall co-funded by the Union, constitutes the building blocks that will allow achieving this vision, innovating the rail technology and systems taking advantage of progress in communications, digitalization, automation, artificial intelligence and beyond.

The meeting was enriched by the presence of Mr Joe Mizzi, Malta’s Minister for Transport and Infrastructure and currently President of the Transport Council of the European Union, and Mr Matthew Baldwin, Deputy Director General at the European Commission, DG MOVE. Mr Josef Doppelbauer, Executive Director of ERA, was invited to attend the meeting and bring the Agency’s views.

Minister Mizzi had the opportunity to take note of the progress of the Research and Innovation achieved by S2R in less than one year since its autonomy, built upon the work already initiated in the S2R Lighthouse Projects.

The work on the review of the Multi-Annual Action Plan and the commitment of S2R to show case some of its initial results in key events of 2018, such as TRA 2018 in Vienna and InnoTrans 2018 in Berlin, will pave the way for the Transport Council discussions on Railway Research and Innovation, including beyond 2020.

Mr Baldwin supported the need to bring concrete R&I results to demonstrate the key benefits of the joint venture in defragmenting Research and Innovation, paving the way to market uptake.

Mr Carlo Borghini, Executive Director of S2R reconfirmed the commitment of the Joint Undertaking and its Members to work towards innovative solutions to be brought to the market through appropriate business cases.