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Memorandum on Future of the Czech Railway Industry

On April 11th, 2019 was signed a Memorandum on Future of the Czech Railway Industry between the Research, Development and Innovation Council of the Government and ACRI – Association of the Czech Railway Industry, in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Vice-Chairman of the Committee of Economic Affairs of the Parliament, Member of the Parliament Mr. Kolovratník. This document was ceremoniously signed at the Railway conference in Dříteč. The conference main topic: "Czech and European railways for the 21st century – one single market".

"The railway industry is a traditional sector with more than two hundred years of tradition. The industry contributes annually to the state budget over 52 billion CZK and creates 1.3% of GDP. These facts have led us unequivocally to support this sector, "said Martin Kolovratník.

At the end of the last year the Government of the Czech Republic has adopted an innovative strategy called „Czech Republic – The Country for the Future". "We would like to follow up with our industrial tradition, research facilities and entrepreneurial skills. Clearly we need to level up a debt that we have in research and education. Countries, that have decided to promote science, research and innovation as a key national priorities, are today among the most prosperous. Czech Republic has all the prerequisites to do that, "says the Vice-Chairman of the Council of the Government for Research, Development and Innovation Council Mr. Karel Havlíček. He added:" Czech Republic has extraordinary knowledge potential, the country is technologically oriented, and meets the most stringent economic criteria. Everyone must realise that we cannot be an endlessly “assembly shop” for Europe. We need to encourage innovation, science, research, start-ups, faster adoption of new technologies and to link all of that with a “digital state” across all sectors."

Tomáš Ignačák, the Chairman of the ACRI presiding board said: "Companies in the railway industry employ 19.000 employees directly and indirectly 50.000. Sales reach CZK 79 billion annually. Export  is very important for us, presently creates 56% of our sales. It is necessary to develop and strengthen the position of the Czech railway industry in both the European and global scale."

The MOU has four common objectives:

  1. Development of railways and rail transport support, which includes the harmonization of road/rail costs, the development and modernization of railway infrastructure, the promotion of technical education, and others.
  2. Digitalisation support, inc. development of autonomous operations, anticollisional systems etc.
  3. Support of decarbonisation and environmental solutions, the railway as a backbone of sustainable mobility and its interconnection with other low-carbon transport, noise reduction, etc.
  4. Promoting innovations and R&D, i.e. vehicles with hybrid or alternative traction, interoperability and support of Industry 4.0.

The MOU participants have agreed to evaluate an Action plan in co-operation with other ministries and bodies with a deadline 30.9.2019.

Representatives of the Czech railway industry appreciates the support of the Government, which will contribute to the further development of this traditional industry.

Photo gallery: HERE

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