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Topic outline

  • Brief information on the Funding Opportunity

    Program:  Horizon Europe Framework Programme (HORIZON) |  Call ID: HORIZON-ER-JU-2022-ExplR-05

    Geographical coverage: EU

    Available contribution €: 700 000

    Deadlines: 1 Stage 14 December 2022 17:00:00 Brussels time

    Type of Action: HORIZON-JU-RIA HORIZON JU Research and Innovation Actions

    Type of MGA: HORIZON Lump Sum Grant [HORIZON-AG-LS]

    For more information on meanings of TRL, Type of Project and General Rules, please refer to the General Annexes of the Work Programme:  Link to the General Annexes of the Work Programme

  • Partners Profiles

  • Partner Search

  • Expected Outcomes

    The introduction of automation (automated functions) in the railway sector to be developed by the EU-RAIL programme and digitalization will bring new opportunities to improve the passenger and freight services: increasing capacity on the network, increasing the reliability of the overall system, increasing the punctuality, increasing operational flexibility, etc. are among the key improvements that will be brought into the system.

    The project stemming from this topic is expected to identify what are the opportunities for new type of services that could be enabled by these new automated functions and in general the digitalization of the rail system and sub-systems and to consider their business case(s). The latter should take into account who will bear the costs and who will get the benefit, researching as well how those new type of services can increase the competitiveness of rail and model its potential evolution in the transport and mobility sector in the next decades.

    The Project stemming from this topic is expected to provide all the following:

    • Definition of new business services (at least 4 new services) for both passenger and freight that can be enabled with the introduction of digital solutions in the rail sector and ecosystem, in particular with automated functions. These new services should take into account evolution of customers’ needs and expectations as well as innovations in other sectors.
    • Definition and analysis of high-level business cases associated to these new potential business services, highlighting the benefits gained for all the different actors involved in the value chain up until the final customer(s) as well as the possible additional costs to be borne by the sector.
    • A model on how modal split will evolve with the introduction of these new business services. This shall also take into account possible economic, political and societal evolutions which may impact the transport sector, and as a consequence, the needs of the customers.

  • Scope

    The action to be funded under this topic is expected to provide a more innovative business orientation for the exploitation of the results from the Europe’s Rail programme related to digital solutions and in particular automated functions.

    Digitalisation and automation in rail are expected to provide added value to the sector in terms of increased capacity and reliability or decrease of capital and operational costs. But other new type of business services could potentially be delivered to customers (both passenger and freight) and those needs to be researched and their potential to enhance the competitiveness and attractiveness of rail transport be analysed.

    The action to be funded under this topic shall therefore find innovative type of business services that could be launched within the rail ecosystem using these new automated functions. It is important that applicants would “think out of the box”, trying to anticipate how the market innovation implementation would create the opportunity in the rail sector for innovative and ground-breaking type of services, like for example the digitalisation of mass communication through internet allowed the creation of innovative services, including in the transport domain as Uber. This is valid for all market segments and shall cover both passengers and freight. Associated business case analysis for each new potential services shall also be delivered in order to have a first assessment of costs and gains repartition.

    Finally, the work shall also cover a model showing how the modal share of rail transport could evolve taking into account these innovative services and based on overall trends and forecast for the next decade.

  • Interactions with other EU-RAIL projects

    The System Pillar will deliver a new functional system architecture for the railway system, which will have an impact on the overall system design, the automation functions that are going to be developed, including their performance and their costs). The action to be funded under this topic shall take into consideration the work to be released by the System Pillar and its evolution.

    Likewise, the action to be funded under this topic shall also take into account the work to be delivered by EU-RAIL Flagship Areas 1 & 2.

    This action should also take into consideration the work to be carried out in projects to be funded under the work programme call HORIZON-CL5-2023-D6-01-07: Operational automation to support multimodal freight transport.

  • Gender dimension

    In this topic the integration of the gender dimension (sex and gender analysis) in research and innovation content is not a mandatory requirement.

  • Specific Topic Conditions

    Activities are expected to be of low TRL, with experiment verification of the formulated concepts at TRL3, higher TRL are possible – see General Annex B for a guide to the TRL definitions and criteria to be used.