Funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) and managed by Innovate UK (IUK), this competition aims to demonstrate how proven technologies can be integrated into a railway environment for the first time (‘first of a kind’ demonstrations). It aims to encourage innovation in the rail industry through the use of novel technologies (for example automation) and innovative uses of data.
The competition has four themes, around which applications must focus:
- Theme 1: environmental sustainability
- Theme 2: customer experience
- Theme 3: optimised railway operations
- Theme 4: optimised and cost-effective maintenance
Projects must create a highly interactive and innovative demonstrator. This should be in an environment where railway customers and industry representatives can witness the product as a compelling business proposition, for instance:
- within a railway station;
- in rolling stock;
- on railway infrastructure;
- in the environment close to the railway.
IUK has allocated up to £9.4 million to fund innovation projects in this competition. Successful projects will be 100% funded. IUK expects to fund projects with total eligible costs between £100,000 and £400,000.
Applications must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively for research and development (R&D) services. They should focus on prototyping and field-testing the product or service in a representative railway environment.
To lead a project, the applicant can be a business of any size, based in the UK, EU, or EEA. They may work alone or with others as subcontractors. Applicants must involve a railway asset owner (stations, rolling stock, infrastructure), a railway organisation include a potential integration partner. The project must be carried out in the UK.
The competition opens on 13 January 2020 and registrations must be made by midday on 4 March 2020.
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