The MITMA Group officially becomes a founding member of Europe's Rail Joint Undertaking, a European rail R&D&I partnership


The group of companies of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda has officially become a founding member of 'Europe's Rail Join Undertaking' (ERJU), the new R & D & I partnership of the European Union dedicated specifically to rail, which from now on replaces the previous program ('Shift2Rail'). The ratification of the candidacy headed by Adif and participated by other organizations dependent on the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (Renfe-Operadora, Cedex, Ineco and Adif-Alta Velocidad) takes place with the entry into force of Regulation 2021/2085 of November 19, 2021, establishing joint ventures within the framework of the Horizon Europe R&D and Innovation program. This covers the creation of nine European innovation and research associations to accelerate the green and digital transition, including the aforementioned 'Europe's Rail Joint Undertaking'.

Railway partnership

Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking is the largest European railway research and innovation program until now. It will offer activities for a minimum value of 1,236 million euros carried out by its selected founding members and other beneficiaries who will join through open calls.

These activities will be financed by the joint venture integrating the resources provided by the Horizon Europe Program of the European Union, which will eventually invest 600 million euros.

The objective of the ERJU is to offer a high capacity integrated European rail network eliminating barriers to interoperability and providing systemic solutions to the sector with the aim of accelerating the development and deployment of projects and innovations.

This initiative seeks to harness the enormous potential of digitisation and automation to reduce the costs of the railway system, increase its capacity and improve its flexibility and reliability. It should be based on a robust reference functional system architecture shared by the industry, in coordination with the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA). The new partnership will support the development of a strong and globally competitive European rail industry

In addition to the European Union, the new association will consist of 25 additional founding members, coming from the rail supply industry, the community of rail operators, infrastructure managers (including Adif) and others from the field of research centers for the sector.

Starting of the new wave of European rail innovation

The first ERJU Governing Board was held on December 21, 2021. Subsequently, in early 2022, a formal event will be held to launch the new association, within the framework of the French Presidency of the European Union. At the end of the first quarter of 2022, a first call for projects will be launched within ERJU, which will have 50% of its total budget earmarked for innovation.

Participation of Adif and the affiliated entities of MITMA in ERJU

Since the beginning of 2021, the candidacy constituted by Adif and its affiliated entities has worked together with Shift2Rail and the European Commission, in multilateral meetings, technical working groups and various preparatory tasks of the ERJU, which have included three necessary elements for the constitution of the Joint Undertaking:

• The preparation of a Master Plan to build an Innovation Pillar composed of five priority areas, as well as a System Pillar for the governance of innovation

• The establishment of a multi-year planning of work, which for each priority area includes various thematic areas, tasks, actions and specific budgets and their corresponding distribution for each year

• The creation of the legal framework for its governing bodies and associated procedural rules. The maximum resources committed by this Spanish public candidacy in innovation work to be carried out under this initiative will have a maximum financial equivalent of 53.23 million euros, financed by the EU at a maximum rate of 44.5%.

With the participation of the candidacy headed by Adif in the European Railway Joint Undertaking, Spain will achieve:

• Strengthen its influence on the evolution of train control and signaling systems, such as ERTMS / ETCS technologies

• Advance in the use of railway telecommunications

• Begin to automate operations for rail freight transport, with actions in terminals and the logistics chain

• Progress towards smart rail asset management and maintenance

• Streamline digital railway modeling and apply certain use cases in digital twins

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