An association that gathers 23 companies specialized in railway transportation and two research centers, in order to bring together the know-how developed over time and to jointly participate in European research & development tenders like Shift2Rail.

Ditecfer – the association for the railway, high-speed, and network security technologies – that joins the principal industrial and research entities in the railway sector with a presence in Italy, came to be this summer in Pistoia. A territory with an outstanding vocation for this type of industry, Tuscany is Ditecfer’s pivotal axis, with eminent business in both rail materials, as well as signaling systems and infrastructures for railway transports. Each of the 23 participating companies, although they may be part of groups headquartered in other regions or abroad, has a branch in Tuscany. Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Pisa and the University of Pisa Foundation for Research and Innovation [Fondazione dell’Università di Firenze per la Ricerca e l’Innovazione] are the two research centers that adhered to the initiative.

The challenge is to define and complete shared projects that will create an increased level of innovation throughout the railway industry to be distributed to the entire sector. From this perspective, the opportunity provided by Shift2Rail is also decisive for the growth of the Italian and Tuscan industrial system: in fact, the European initiative aims to steer the research & development activities towards obtaining solutions that would speed up the integration of technologies utilized throughout Europe. The program’s target consists of doubling Europe’s railway capacity, increasing the quality and reliability of service by 50%, and reducing costs.

The businesses that joined the Ditecfer association represent an important entity of the Italian railway industry that, in 2013, jointly generated a turnover of €900 million, with 60 million spent on research, development, and innovation activities: each member of the association spends, on average, 135 of the turnover in R&D activities, although the figure reaches almost 60% for some of the companies. Together, the members hold 110 patents, a figure that confirms this group’s vocation for innovation.

Ansaldo Breda, Argos Engineering, Centro Ricerche e Attività Industriali, Ciesse, Ecm, Edit Engineering, Elettri-fer, Elfi, EnginSoft, Fratelli Casipoli, Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems Italy, Ids Ingegneria dei sistemi, Intecs, Italcertifer, Nuova IT, Resiltech, Sistema Ingegneria, Sice, Sitael, Stern Progetti, Tecnau Transport Division, TeSiFer, and Vds Rail are the copanies that joined forces to create Ditecfer.

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