That is the mission of the European rail cluster initiative ERCI. Its primary goal is to bring together small and medium-sized enterprises, technology and research institutes, and large companies for joint innovation projects.
The European Railway Cluster Initiative was founded in 2010 with the signing of the cooperation agreement at InnoTrans 2010. The aim of ERCI is to promote innovation and develop new business opportunities as a means to sustainably strengthen competitiveness within the European railroad industry. ERCI promotes cooperation between industry and research, initiates innovation projects and organizes B2B meetings and workshops. This also includes promoting good visibility and networking at EU level. Rail.S cluster manager Dirk-Ulrich Krüger is spokesman for the initiative.
The 15 partner cluster represent more than 2000 enterprises and research facilities of the Railroad industry from 16 countries across Europe:
|Europe’s Rail Support / Partner-Matchmaking|
ERCI uses its network to set up and support project consortia also for the new EU funding programme Europe’s Rail. Since 2015, 12 consortia involving members of ERCI partner clusters have been awarded funding in the predecessor programme Shift2Rail.
|EU Projects for SMEs|
ERCI partners are coming together to form new consortia for the implementation of EU projects. Various ERCI projects such as PERES, RailActivation, EXXTRA or S-ACCESS have already been launched with the aim of giving participating companies access to new markets and innovation projects.
|ERCI Innovation Awards|
The ERCI Innovation Awards provide high-profile recognition to companies from the ERCI partner clusters that have successfully brought pioneering products or solutions to market.
|ERCI Taskforces: Cybersecurity / Multimodal Logistics / Green & Sustainable Mobility|
The common goal of the task forces is to discuss current challenges in cross-border rail transport and to initiate European solutions. Within the framework of regular workshops, the working groups “Cybersecurity”, “Multimodal Logistics” and “Green & Sustainable Mobilty” seek public exchange with experts and representatives from the industry.
|ERCI Online Seminars|
Regular online seminars offer the members of the ERCI partner clusters a platform to present their innovative technologies and solutions to an international audience and to discuss current topics. Dates for current ERCI online seminars can also be found in the ERCI event calendar.
The ERCI Innovation Awards recognize companies from ERCI partner clusters that have successfully brought innovative products or solutions to the market. The categories of the ERCI Innovation Awards are: “Best Large Enterprise”, “Best Small and Medium Enterprise (SME)” and the special jury prize “Coup de Cœur”. The prize is awarded annually. The hosting of the award ceremony rotates among ERCI members. IIn 2021 the prizes were awarded for the seventh time. For the first time, three companies received the Coup de Coeur.
In 2020, one of the coveted awards went to Saxony for the first time – A great success for the award-winning company CG Rail, but also for the Rail.S network.
Learn more about the European rail cluster initiative!