On 15 October 2013, OLTIS Slovakia organized an information session on SHIFT²RAIL in order to raise the awareness of Slovak stakeholders (industry, SMEs, scientific community, operators & infrastructure manager) and help them to anticipate the setting up of the initiative. The Workshop was organized in Bratislava with significant support of UNIFE, Association of European Railway Industry, and the Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development of the Slovak Republic.
The meeting was opened by the General Director of Railways of the Ministry Mr. Jiří Kubáček. The main program itself was introduced by the UNIFE General Manager Mr. Massimo Marianeschi. Mr. Petr Kroča, OLTIS Group Research Project Coordinator presented experience of the company with involvement into the SHIFT²RAIL, specific steps needed to be undertaken by the Slovak official representatives to support this initiative and possible involvement of Slovak stakeholders.
In August 2013, OLTIS Group was adopted as one of SHIFT²RAIL founding members who are committed to invest its own financial, human and technical resources during whole duration of the program in order to achieve the planned SHIFT²RAIL objectives.
SHIFT²RAIL is the first European rail joint technology initiative to seek focused research and innovation (R&I) and market-driven solutions by accelerating the integration of new and advanced technologies into innovative rail product solutions. SHIFT²RAIL will promote the competitiveness of the European Rail Industry and will meet the changing EU transport needs. Through the R&I carried out within this Horizon2020 initiative, the necessary technology will be created to complete the Single European Railway Area (SERA).
The program will be implemented in the period 2015-2020 with a total budget 1.15 billion Euro. Allocation of at least a quarter of this budget for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and research centres is defined in the SHIFT²RAIL proposal.