Shift2Rail signs MoU with the region of the Basque Country
The objective of the new cooperation is to move rail research and innovation forward and crucially promote market deployment.
The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Shift2Rail and the region of the Basque Country took place on Wednesday 22 January 2020 during the Basque Railway 2020 conference in San Sebastián, which brought together over 400 rail professionals from across the sector. The objective of the new cooperation is to identify common priorities and potential synergies between the funding instruments that are available at the European Union, national and regional levels to move rail research and innovation (R&I) forward and crucially promote market deployment.
Carlo Borghini, Executive Director of Shift2Rail, said: ‘‘This MoU is very important to us because it is a key opportunity to collaborate on concretely changing the way mobility and transport is run in Europe. We count on the collaboration with the Basque Country to enhance the leverage effect of the Research & Innovation we do in Europe. We want to move R&I results to a level where they make a positive impact on the way people are moving and connecting, and the regional and European economy is developing.’’
This cooperation agreement will maximise the opportunity for collaboration in rail R&A during the ongoing programming period under Horizon 2020, as well as in the new programming period that is expected to start on 1 January 2021 under Horizon Europe.
Commenting on the new agreement, Regional Minister of Economic Development and Infrastructure of the Basque Government, Arantxa Tapia Otaegi, said: “The MoU with Shift2Rail defines a key milestone for the Basque Country. We are a small region but with a large technological and industrial development, with a clear innovative approach and a consolidated railway sector. Our aim is to strengthen innovation in the railway sector and the signing of this MoU enables a new and significant boost to its development in the Basque Country, helping also to reinforce the railway sector in the whole of Europe, thanks to the synergies created by this agreement of cooperation’’.
Shift2Rail believes that rail can become the backbone of the future sustainable carbon-neutral mobility and transport system, and working together with regions such as the Basque Country, where there is a key innovative hub, will make a significant contribution to achieving this.
In 2019, Shift2Rail signed a similar MoU with the Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic, and looks forward to building more opportunities for cooperation in the future.