Companies are being invited by Innovate UK and the Department for Transport (DfT) to apply for a share of £5.5 million worth of funding to integrate resilient technologies into the UK’s railways.
Ran by the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), the competition will inject investment for organisations that are looking at new, proven or resilient technologies to offer improved services on the railway.
The UK rail industry is more popular than ever; more than one billion passengers were transported by train between 2017 and 2018, with work and leisure both contributing.
In addition, more than 100 billion tonnes of freight were transported in that time.
The expectation is that this number will increase in the coming years because of the drive to reduce harmful emissions; this could see freight journeys move from road to rail.
Therefore, resilient technologies are necessary if passenger needs are to be met, sustainability is to increase, and overall passenger experience is better.
DfT has allocated investment for businesses that can develop ‘first of a kind’ demonstrators that can use existing technologies and develop these even further for the rail sector.
The competition, which aims to reduce costs, increase capacity, and bring down carbon emissions, will see 16 projects funded across four themes.
These include infrastructure resilience; operational resilience; freight; and noise and environment.
Interested parties have been asked to produce an interactive demonstrator to show stakeholders how technology will work within a station; on rolling stock; railway infrastructure; or the environment close to the railway.
The deadline for entries is midday on 17 April.
Andrew Jones, Rail Minister, 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.”