DfT to invest a substantial sum to develop technology prototypes.

Innovate UK are managing a collaborative research and development competition on behalf of the Department for Transport to accelerate innovation in the UK rail sector.

Rail Minister Paul Maynard said:

“We will be looking for innovations that will improve the delivery of rail transport in the UK and boost UK competitivity in the international rail market. We want to encourage participation both from within the rail sector and from organisations with little experience of working in rail. I look forward to a strong competition.”

The Fourth Accelerating Innovation in Rail competition will open on 20 March and businesses will be able to apply for significant levels of funding to develop technology prototypes in the broad areas of ‘high-value, low cost railways’ and ‘Improving customer experience through stations’.  Exploitation is a key priority and applications should provide evidence of a market-need for specific solutions, and engagement with potential customer organisations.

Innovate UK and the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) will hold a series of briefing events across the UK to help business understand the scope and opportunities of this competition.

This competition call will offer an opportunity for businesses of all sizes (micro, small, medium and large) as well as academics, researchers and public sector.  The competition will appeal particularly to businesses not currently supplying the rail industry, but which have technologies and innovations that meet the scope of ‘high value low cost railways’ and ‘Improving customer experience through stations’.

Key dates for this competition call are:

•  Competition opens: 20th March 2017

•  Register by midday, 10th May 2017

•  Apply by Midday, 17th May 2017


Briefing and consortia building events are planned for:

21 March, London – https://innovation-in-rail4-london.eventbrite.co.uk

21 March Webcast : https://innovation-in-rail4-webcast.eventbrite.co.uk

29 March, Cardiff – https://wales.business-events.org.uk/en/events/innovate-uk-accelerating-innovation-in-rail-r-d-competition/

6 April, Manchester – https://innovation-in-rail4-manchester.eventbrite.co.uk


Competition Brief will be published around 16th March at:



TBAT Innovation Breakfast Briefing, Castle Donington, Tuesday 4th April 2017, 8am – 12pm