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The proposal supports the activities of the European Rail Research Advisory Council and covers research related to all types of freight and passenger rail services. Activities ranges from (1) to promote rail research in close link with investment in rail infrastructures in an enlarged Europe, (2) to co-ordinate pre-competitive research schemes between the various EU, National and industry rail research programmes, (3) to adjust and update the Strategic Rail Research Agenda as well as the ERRAC RBS 2020 (Research Business Scenario), and (4) to improve joint project building process within the rail sector. The goal of ERRAC SSA is not to duplicate the efforts made by the sector during the 2002-2004 period but to go further in effectively implementing the recommendations produced by the present ERRAC Working Groups, including those made by the WG2 regarding the FP5 projects and the rail research programmes of MS. Ultimate objective of ERRAC SSA is to produce recommendations on research projects and schemes. Through this proposal, ERRAC members will also carry out co-operative studies to acquire the necessary information on existing and planned research, on key factors affecting sustainable development of rail transport at the European level and beyond the EU borders and the resulting technological needs taking into account the potential of new and emerging technologies also outside sector. Specific emphasis will be put on two issues previously not sidered in ERRAC activities, however of big importance because they strain innovation: (1) the eomic dimension of the innovation (migration costs of new technologies, innovation process in the rail sector compared to other industry and non-European countries) and (2) the socio-eomic dimension of innovation in rail (customer acceptance, socio-cultural factors of rail transportation, impact of opening markets, new trends in transportation market?), which are the drivers of the innovation in the industry.

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