New technologies are needed to help meet passenger needs, offer better journeys and increase sustainability in rail services.
£5.5 million is available from the Department for Transport for organisations to develop ‘first of a kind’ demonstrators. These should use existing technologies and develop these further for the rail industry.
This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition.
Rail Minister Andrew Jones said:
We have already seen some truly innovative projects developed for the benefit of passengers in these competitions, helping to drive forward a greener, cleaner and more reliable rail network.
This additional funding will spark even more innovation and ideas that deliver for commuters.
We are also investing £48 billion to modernise our railways over the next 5 years, ensuring people have the safe, frequent and punctual journeys they deserve.
The competition aims to reduce costs, double capacity, lower carbon emissions and improve customer experiences.
It is across 4 themes:
- infrastructure resilience, including protection against adverse weather conditions
- operational resilience, such as using data to inform train maintenance activities
- freight, including improved routing and tracking capabilities
- noise and environment, including innovations mitigating engine noise
16 projects are expected to be funded across all 4 themes.
Projects should produce an interactive and innovative demonstrator that shows rail industry stakeholders and customers how a technology will work in a real-world rail environment. This can be:
- within a railway station
- in rolling stock
- on railway infrastructure
- in the environment close to the railway
- the competition opens on 25 February 2019 and the deadline for registration is at midday on 17 April 2019
- organisations of any size are eligible to apply, working alone or collaborating with others as subcontractors
- total eligible costs can be between £250,000 and £350,000 including VAT
- projects will be 100% funded
- briefing events will be held in London on 26 February 2019, Manchester on 28 February 2019 and Cardiff on 7 March 2019, where organisations can find out more about making an application