|The strategic objectives of the European Rail Research Network of Excellence (EUR²EX) are: 1.To integrate the fragmented European Rail Research landscape by networking together the critical mass of resources and expertise to provide European leadership and be a world class player,2.To promote the railway contribution to sustainable transport policy,3.To improve the competitiveness and economic stability of the railway sector and industry by: creating a durable integrated network of excellence in rail research, technology innovation and knowledge management from the research capacities of universities and institutions, implementing knowledge from rail operators, rail industry incl.SME, with priority given to engineering interfaces and methods for product qualification in line with Eric¿s SRRA.EUR²EX will have as its foundation six regional/supra regional networks with 67 members and some 670 researchers. Each region has nominated a representative who will be a formal participant for the purpose of the EC contract and lean management structure. EUR²EX will encourage new networks to be formed where justified incl. a CEEC network. The members of the regional networks will provide the researchers and research projects that will be integrated and form the research base for new joint projects. UIC, UNIFE and UITP will be EUR²EX participants. They will not provide researchers for integration but their involvement and support are crucial to the success of EUR²EX.EUR²EX will have close links with selected companies that have specific knowledge but who may not be able to commit themselves to formal integration. These companies have been identified as associate members. The process of integration of excellence takes place on the basis of a JPA with integrating activities, jointly executed research while sharing research platforms, facilities and activities for spreading excellence to be transferred into a durable integration based on a profound business case.'