News article

SBRI rail demonstrations: first of a kind 2020

14 January 2020

Funding for innovation in the rail industry

Up to £9.4 million is available for innovative projects addressing sustainability, customer experience, operations or maintenance in the railway environment.

This Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) 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:

  • environmental sustainability
  • customer experience
  • optimised railway operations
  • 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

Applications must demonstrate potential benefits to passengers and customers, including:

  • why customers would buy the product
  • how the funding will help companies in the consortium grow and result in broader economic benefits
  • how you will obtain a clear route to market

Competition briefing events are being run in January in London, Manchester and Cardiff. If you're unable to attend any of the briefings in person, the London event will be webcast. You can register to join here.

Registration for the competition closes 4 March 2020 with the competition itself closing noon 11 March 2020.

Find out more about the SBRI Rail Demonstrations - First of a Kind 2020 competition.