On 21 July 2020 RFM  launched the first ‘SME Challenge’  as part of our Rail Sector Deal Midlands Pilots. This challenge is supported by Bombardier, Hitachi, Porterbrook and Siemens with other OEMs/asset managers invited to join. The challenge itself relates to the need to remove weight from passenger rail vehicles – both new and existing.

The online launch event attracted some 130 companies/individuals and was followed up by four separate events to look at specific aspects of the vehicle and provide time for SMEs to introduce themselves to each other and start to identify potential partners that they may wish to work with. These events focussed on: interiors, exteriors, traction and bogies and electrical/electronic equipment. Each event was attended by between 25 and 50 people. If you weren’t able to attend any of the events don’t worry, you can still get involved.

Below are links to several documents including slides from the sessions, delegate information and some FAQs.

The presentation slides from the on-line launch event can be found here Lightweighting Challenge_Launch 210720

The challenge was split into 4 key areas. Below are links to the presentation slides from each of the discussions:

Attendance lists for the separate events can be found here. This information includes name, company and a brief explanation of what the company does or is looking for in terms of collaboration. The information is being shared with the agreement of all involved, for individual contact information please speak to RFM.

Launch Event_SME Collaboration Lightweighting Challenge Delegate List

Interiors_SME Collaboration Lightweighting Challenge Delegate List 

Exteriors_SME Collaboration Lightweighting Challenge Delegate List

Traction&Bogies_SME Collaboration Lightweighting Challenge Delegate List

Elec&Electronic Equipment_SME Collaboration Lightweighting Challenge Delegate List

The timescales for next steps are:

ROUND 1

Initial collaborations identified – short written submission of project

Please use this form for submissions: RSD Lightweighting Written Submission

28 August
Selection of Round 1 projects for Dragons Den 11 September
Round 1 Dragons Den w/c 28 September
Ongoing project support / light touch review (RFM) monthly
Clarifications, ‘matchmaking’ ongoing

We are planning a second round of submissions for those collaborations that can’t make the earlier timeframes

ROUND 2

Collaborations identified – short written submission of project

Please use this form for submissions: RSD Lightweighting Written Submission

16 October
Selection of Round 2 projects for Dragons Den 30 October
Round 2 Dragons Den w/c 16 November
Ongoing project support / light touch review (RFM) monthly
Clarifications, ‘matchmaking’ ongoing

Background Information and FAQs

We have put together a number of questions and answers together with some additional background. These can be found below

Lightweighting_FAQs August 2020.

Please contact us if you want any further information or clarifications

robert@midlandsrail.co.uk or elaineclark@midlandsrail.co.uk