In a message to the Railway Industry Association’s Innovation Conference today, Rail Minister Paul Maynard announced up to £9 million to support UK businesses as part of a new innovation competition to develop solutions for national and international railways. The funding is being made available by the Department for Transport (DfT) through Innovate UK.
The competition aims to help deliver the industry’s Rail Technical Strategy and its Rail Capability Delivery Plan for 2017, which outlines the joint industry vision for using technology to create better railways. It will invite applications on two priority areas that:
- create high-value, low-cost railway innovations, which increase the value of rail services to passengers while driving down operational expense
- improve customer experience through station design and performance
For the travelling public this should mean a more sustainable rail industry that offers better services, better journeys and better value.
UK businesses of any size can apply for funding. Each project should include at least one small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).
- The competition opens on 20 March 2017, and the deadline for registration is midday on 10 May 2017
- they expect projects to last up to 12 months and to range in size from £150,000 to £1 million
- projects must involve at least one SME, be collaborative and be business-led
- businesses could attract up to 70% of their project costs
- a briefing event will be held on 21 March 2017