The Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium partners with trailblazing European initiative

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, Oct. 23, 2020 – The Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Shift2Rail, Europe’s first public-private initiative tasked with integrating research, innovation and market-driven solutions to create the railway systems of the future.

Launched at Shift2Rail Innovation Days in Brussels, the new partnership’s goal is to promote international cooperation between low-carbon smart-mobility leaders. “This joint undertaking is a prime example of the international innovation economy using collaboration, research and analytics to further the global goals of reducing carbon emissions, improving energy efficiency, and providing better transit for all,” said Josipa Petrunic, President and CEO of CUTRIC. “With the Canadian government having committed to exceeding 2030 climate targets, and legislating the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, this collaboration could not come at a better time.”

Shift2Rail will now take part in the inaugural CUTRIC Rail Conference on November 23, 2020, by contributing to global discussions on topics ranging from energy efficiency and alternative materials to big data and operational optimization. The virtual conference is focusing on “Moving Canadians Forward” with the world’s most advanced rail technologies, many of which are designed in Canada.

Currently part of the European Union’s $125 billion “Horizon 2020” research program, the collaboration will continue into the new Horizon Europe program that is expected to start in the second half of 2021 with $134 billion in proposed funding.

“This Memorandum of Understanding is very important for us because it is a key opportunity to collaborate at international scale with industry on low-carbon mobility research and innovation,” explained Carlo Borghini, Executive Director of Shift2Rail. “This will enhance the leverage effect of what we do in Europe to deliver on European Green Deal objectives. Shift2Rail believes that rail can become the backbone of sustainable carbon-neutral mobility and transport systems, and working with CUTRIC will make a significant contribution toward achieving this.” 

Through a framework of regulation and legislation, the European Green Deal will achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and a 50- to 55-percent reduction in emissions by 2030.


CUTRIC is a non-profit innovation consortium with a vision to make Canada a global leader in low-carbon smart mobility. Through industry-led collaborative research and large-scale technology integration trials, CUTRIC is working to achieve this goal by focusing on technology development, integration and standardization of low-carbon propulsion systems and smart vehicle systems, data-driven analytics in mobility, and cybersecurity in transportation.

About Shift2Rail

Shift2Rail is the first European rail public private partnership tasked with developing strategically focused research and innovation (R&I) and market-driven solutions, and integrating these to create the railway systems of the future. With $143 million in funding through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research program, Shift2Rail is promoting the competitiveness of the European rail industry, ensuring the attractiveness of rail as a safe and sustainable low carbon transport mode, and meeting the changing transport and mobility needs of EU citizens and the economy.

Media contact:

William Johnson

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