An initiative between the Department for Transport (DfT) and Innovate UK is looking for ideas that will help to decarbonise the railway, with a share of a £3.5 million fund available.
This competition, the first of its kind, is seeking ideas not only to decarbonise the railway, but also to improve the experiences of passengers in railway stations.
Announced by the Rail Minister, this competition is already in its second year and the ideas sought can be adapted to improve the rail network in the UK.
In the first round of grants, 10 projects secured funding from the competition, run by Innovate UK, and part of the DfT’s wider Accelerating Innovation in Rail (AIR) scheme.
Rail Minister, Jo Johnson, said: “There are many brilliant ideas already out there that, with just minor modifications, could help to transform rail journeys for passengers across the network.
“We want to hear from those companies whose projects fit this template, because we can offer them the grant funding to make that a reality.
“We are investing in the biggest rail modernisation programme since Victorian times and we want to put passengers at the heart of everything we do.”
Running from October to the end of November, the second round of this competition will provide funding for those projects looking for between £250,000 and £350,000.
Innovate UK and the DfT want to hear about ideas and projects that will reduce noise pollution and improve air quality in stations, while also providing reliable information to passengers during disruption, and enhance accessibility.
Many of these issues are those that the government has been trying to tackle for some time now; the Clean Air Strategy focuses on decarbonisation, and many stations are working to create better access.
Technology meanwhile, is growing ever more important in providing information to passengers, and this competition which will help to decarbonise the railway and enhance the experiences of passengers, has already seen 10 projects given funding in the first round of funding.