Borghini's most recent role was corporate services director at the European Defence Agency and before that he was deputy executive director for the Single European Skies Advanced Research Joint Undertaking from 2008 to 2014.

On his appointment, Borghini said: "Shift2Rail is Europe's most ambitious programme of research in the rail sector and is vital to ensuring the long-term competitiveness of the industry and to delivering sustainable transport in Europe. I am very honoured to have been chosen to lead this programme, and look forward to working with all members of the Joint Undertaking to ensure we deliver the results they expect."

Shift2Rail is a public-private partnership involving the European Union and industry partners to double the capacity of the European rail network, increase its reliability and service quality by 50% and halve lifecycle costs.