Ecorys to lead study on the European Rail Supply Industry for the European Commission

Ecorys to lead study on the European Rail Supply Industry for the European Commission

Ecorys, together with VVA and TNO, is conducting a study on the competitiveness of the European rail supply industry at the request of the European Commission. The final report is scheduled for April 2019 and will be presented at a meeting of the Expert Group on the Rail Supply Industry in June 2019.

Important sector

The European rail supply industry (RSI) is an important sector for the EU. Directly and indirectly, the EU RSI contributes to the achievement of policy objectives European industrial growth (incl. 20% reindustrialisation target), jobs and innovations. Ecorys’ (2012) study “Sector Overview and Competitiveness Survey of the Railway Supply Industry” found that the EU RSI has a total production value of some 40 billion Euro (2010) and represents some 46% of the world RSI market. Furthermore, the RSI invests 2.7% of its annual turnover in research and development. In addition, it employs around 400,000 people in the EU in both SMEs and major industrial leaders. Whereas the railway sector overall – including operators and infrastructure – accounts for more than 1 million direct and 1.2 million indirect jobs in the EU according to another Ecorys (2014) study.

Europe’s strong position

The previous study on the competitiveness of the EU RSI revealed that the position of Europe is strong and, as in many competing countries, fed by a strong domestic market. Key strengths of the European RSI as indicated in the study are its leading position in advanced technologies (e.g. ERTMS, ATO/UTO, CBTC etc.), ability to produce products with high reliability and the ability to smartly integrate services into product delivery.

The current study will analyse the evolution of the sector over the past 10 years, compare the sector to other manufacturing sectors, compare it to the global RSI and will provide a strategic outlook for the industry. Especially considering new technological developments (digitalisation, industry 4.0, automation, etc.), sustainability challenges and changing trends in transportation, it is important to see if Europe is able to keep its technological leadership in this important sector.

Main objective

The main objective of this request is to provide the economic and competitiveness overview of the RSI and analyse its positioning in the world market including its future trends and opportunities. The study mainly focusses on the decisive factors affecting the competitiveness of the European RSI, including its ability to innovate and adapt, enter and seize new markets. Furthermore, the European RSI  trade patterns and its main economic factors such as profitability, turnover, employment, investment, R&D, will be part of the study.

The study will be conducted in close cooperation with stakeholders, such as the European Commission’s expert group on the RSI. Stakeholders are invited to indicate their interest in participating.