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Government offers £7.9m funding for rail technology innovations

Deniz Huseyin
06 September 2017
 

Bids are being sought from innovators seeking a share of £7.9m government funding for projects to improve efficiency on the UK’s rail network.

This marks the latest round of the Accelerating Innovation in Rail (AIR) scheme, run by the Department for Transport (DfT) in partnership with Innovate UK.

The competition is open to firms of all sizes in the UK, but entries must be collaborative, involving at least two different organisations and at least one SME (small or medium sized enterprises).

Entries will be accepted from 18 September to 15 November 2017. The winners will be announced next spring.

Rail Minister Paul Maynard said: “We want to see ideas that improve reliability on the network for passengers. We have a wealth of pioneering, innovative companies out there ready to put their ideas into practice.

“This is about nurturing innovation on the railways and about developing trains that are less reliant on complex and expensive infrastructure.”

A range of projects received a total of £9m in a previous round of funding in March this year. Winning entries included automated vehicles that carry out track inspections, improving trackside drainage to cut delays and line closures, and software to predict when potential train breakdowns might occur.

Other innovations now being developed include lightweight energy-saving carriages, software telling passengers how busy arriving trains are, and personalised ticket machines that help customers with their ongoing journeys.

The DfT says that projects could be rolled out across the rail network after successful testing and demonstration.

Find out more about rail innovations and projects backed by DfT and Innovate UK at Smarter Travel LIVE!

 
 
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