STARS is a European-funded project, which aims to help SMEs working in the rail and multimodal sector to adopt advanced technologies. It brings together 10 rail clusters and 1 digital innovation hub from 13 regions of 9 COSME program countries (covering 14 countries overall). The CETIC is one of the 5 technological centers participating in the project, offering complementary specializations adapted to support all types of SMEs. The project has the support of 30 key European organisations, including Shift2Rail.
The objective of the STARS project is to identify the technological needs of SMEs in their field and to help them find concrete solutions to their needs through the use of advanced technologies in the fields of information technology and materials sciences.
The activities developed for SMEs include support for organizational/cultural change based on innovative models, support for a better understanding of the investment and return on investment aspects linked to the adoption of advanced technologies, training and assistance with funding opportunities and investments, support for skills development and requalification of staff, etc.
Economic recovery in Europe, in a post-COVID-19 context, will only materialize if SMEs are properly supported by adequate actions to adapt to changing value chains and demand.
Those necessary adaptations should be exploited by the SME’s as an opportunity to improve their environmental footprint and their economic resilience, among others through the uptake of advanced technologies.