EU project STARS has been lauched
© STARS project funded by COSME
EU project STARS | Strategic Alliances Boosting Railway SMEs

On 1 October 2021, the EU project STARS was launched. STARS stands for Strategic Alliances Boosting Railway SMEs. The STARS project is developing a comprehensive approach to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the rail and mobility sector to better reap the benefits of the introduction of advanced technologies.

Lutz Hübner


Senior Manager
Rail Systems Technology
T +49 30 46302-573

Promoting advanced technologies

The application of advanced technologies and their Europe-wide dissemination in internal company processes should help to significantly improve the adaptability of traditional SMEs from the rail and mobility sector to the changed economic environment after the Corona crisis and to increase their competitiveness on a European scale. The project thus contributes to the European Commission's economic stimulus package.

  • Advanced Manufacturing Technology
  • Advanced Materials
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • AR/VR
  • Big Data
  • Blockchain
  • Cloud Computing
  • Connectivity
  • Industrial Biotechnology
  • Internet of Things
  • Micro- and Nanoelectronics
  • Mobility
  • Nanotechnology
  • Photonics
  • Robotics
  • Security


Forming strategic alliances

To achieve this, the STARS project aims to support international cooperation between technology-savvy SMEs/start-ups and traditional SMEs.

As an SME, what do I specifically gain from participating in STARS?

"Helping my company to become more resilient and competitive in the rail and multimodal mobility industry".

  • Free assessment of my readiness to use advanced technologies as a tool for innovation, competitiveness, digital and green transformation and the opportunity to discuss this further.
  • Free training on the factors that will help my company adopt advanced technologies to make it more efficient and/or innovative (organisational requirements, skills needs, business model change, financial aspects, etc.)
  • Free training on how the rail and multimodality market is evolving and what it will require from providers.
  • Opportunity to be selected as one of two respondents to become part of the "STARS Strategic Alliances" and address the specific needs of my company free of charge, receiving both business support and technical assistance (testing, learning-by-doing, etc.) and meeting suitable partners.
Logo EU-Projekt STARS




Who are the project partners?

The STARS project is coordinated by the Italian railway technology cluster DITECFER and has 17 partners from nine countries, including cluster management organisations organised under the umbrella of the European Railway Clusters Initiative (ERCI), technology centres, digital innovation hubs and an SME specialised in blockchain.

From the German Ccapital Region, the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) is represented as the current lead institute of the Fraunhofer Leistungszentrum Digitale Vernetzung and Berlin Partner for Business and Technology as the cluster manager for transport, mobility and logistics.

  • DITECFER (Project coordinator, Italy)
  • BCRRE – Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (UK)
  • MAFEX (Spain)
  • in-move by Railgrup (Spain)
  • ARUS - Anatolian Rail Transportation Systems Cluster (Turkey)
  • BSN - Mreža za poslovnu podršku (Serbia)
  • i-TRANS (France)
  • Logistics in Wallonia (Belgium)
  • Rail.S (Germany)
  • Berlin Partner for Business and Technology (Germany)
  • BNN - BioNanoNet Forschungsgesellschaft (Austria)
  • Fondazione Links - Leading Innovation & Knowledge for Society (Italy)
  • Teknopark Istanbul (Turkey)
  • Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung (Germany)
  • Cetic - Centre d'Excellence en Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication (Belgium)
  • RAILENIUM (France)
  • APUANA SB (Italy)

The project is supported by other institutions from the capital region, such as the European Railway Research Network EURNEX, the Mobility goes Additive network, the BahnTechnologie Campus Havelland, the Kompetenzzentrum Mittelstand 4.0 Berlin, the ICT, Media and Creative Industries Cluster Berlin-Brandenburg and the Enterprise Europe Network.

Co-financing through EU funding

The STARS project (Grant Agreement n. 101037897 - STARS - COS-STRAT-2020-3-05) is co-financed by the European Union within the framework of the COSME (Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) funding programme. It has a duration of 24 months (01.10.2021-30.09.2023).