Government pledges £7.6m for rail innovation

£7.6m for rail innovation pledged by government
£7.6m for rail innovation pledged by government

The Government has made £7.6m available for cutting edge technology that will help transform rail travel.

Rail Minister, Wendy Morton, has officially announced this year’s First of Kind competition, which invites bids from companies specialising in innovative ways to modernise the railways. In partnership with Innovate UK, this year’s competition will award up to £7.6m to projects creating cutting-edge ideas which are striving towards transforming rail travel for passengers and decarbonising the network.

The competition officially opens to applicants on 20th April and closes on 8th June, with bids welcome from organisations of all sizes for projects creating a greener, more cost-effective and passenger focused railway. The year’s competition is focusing on technologies which improve the industry’s cost efficiency and network performance to support a more reliable railway for passengers and improving rail freight.

The Rail Minister, Wendy Morton said:

“I am incredibly excited to launch the sixth round of our First of a Kind competition. In partnership with Innovate UK, we have already invested £35.4 million into over 100 ground-breaking projects.

“We’ve seen cutting edge technologies such as HydroFLEX developed, the first ever trial of a hydrogen-powered train on the UK mainline, and software improving accessibility such as the Hearing Enhanced Audio Relay app.

“As part of our Plan for Rail it’s key we continue breathing life into new ideas and supporting innovation and design to deliver greener rail journeys and transform rail travel for all passengers.”

Last year saw 33 innovators receive grants of up to £400,000.