The UK rail sector has recently set in motion two brand new competitions to further enhance this most familiar and accessible form of transport.
The competitions, with a total funding pot of £5.5m, seek to identify and support companies, technologies and ideas that can provide real impact to the train passenger experience.
This approach of reaching outside an industry to draw fresh perspectives and novel technologies inwards embodies the concept of open innovation. This intersection is where it is often found to be most fertile for true change and disruptive innovation to flourish.
As such, the rail industry- represented by the sector’s stakeholder body (RSSB), and the government (Department for Transport)- is committed to driving their innovation strategy to reach the vision of the UK’s future railway.
Creating smoother rail journeys
RSSB has launched a £4.5m competition to support vehicle based innovations: this would involve the wheel-track interface, addressing track damage, vehicle running gear, and reducing maintenance costs. Approaches could include, but are not limited to, researching different materials, suspension, or the physical profile of the wheel-track interface.
Government support for rail tourism
The Department for Transport meanwhile is awarding funds from a £1m pot to Heritage and Community Rail Partnerships to support more visitors discovering the UK outside of London. This competition provides an opportunity specifically to heritage railways and community rail partnerships to improve the tourist experience.
As innovation consultants proficient in connecting, collaborating and technology scouting, IXC UK (InnovationXchange Ltd) are working alongside the rail industry and government as the trusted innovation partner supporting these competitions.
To find out more about the rail innovation competitions:
For further information on how we can develop your innovation strategy and help you connect and collaborate, please contact our team on: 0121 250 5717 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.