The University of Birmingham has funding available to unlock the rail product potential of local, small and medium-sized, rail and non-rail businesses (SMEs) – those with under 250 employees and 50 million euros turnover.  DIGI-RAIL is a university project that provides free product and business development services to SMEs in Birmingham, Solihull and Warwickshire.

Whether established in rail or seeking to enter the rail market, local businesses can benefit from the growth of the rail sector and improve their business prospects by accessing Birmingham University’s state-of-the-art technology and technical expertise.

The University will help companies identify how their existing and developing products might be further enhanced to meet the rail sector’s unique demands, as technology progresses.

Protecting your product along the way, DIGI-RAIL works in accordance with intellectual property legislation and will progress under non-disclosure agreements to help develop product readiness, for the growing rail sector market.

Currently, DIGI-RAIL can also help companies discover new applications for their product in areas as diverse as sensor technology, intelligent coatings, anti-theft systems, wheel-rail interface performance, and passenger management and information systems: anything which will provide a benefit to the railway and, ultimately, a better passenger experience.  Even, seating sensors that allow train crews to know how many seats are occupied!

Business Development Manager, Al-Amin Dabo, says digital means different things to different people, so he is keen to spread the message that DIGI-RAIL supports companies which add value to the rail sector and offers help to both heavy engineering and high-technology companies from his digital centre of excellence, which can measure and test numerous parameters.

Birmingham University’s state-of-the-art laboratories offer purpose-built test rigs for true railway simulation, converting test-data into meaningful information about performance, safety and durability.

Computer simulations can be undertaken using the department’s Digital Twin capability where this performance can be projected to measure consequences of disruption or delays.

Should further testing need to be undertaken in a real railway environment, there is also access to funded testing through the University’s partnering arrangement with Quinton Rail Technology Centre in Warwickshire – one of the industry’s recognised outdoor test facilities.

DIGI-RAIL supports:

·       Future Railway Operations and Control

·       Traffic Management

·       Rolling Stock Design

·       Energy Optimisation

·       BIM

·       Smart Ticketing

·       Future Wireless Networks

·       Station Information Systems

·       IoT and Cyber Security

To discuss opportunities for your company, please contact Al-Amin Dabo, Business Engagement Manager for DIGI-RAIL by email: a.a.dabo@bham.ac.uk

University of Birmingham DIGI-RAIL Business Support Programme website

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