HS2 launches its Innovation Accelerator to drive new ideas to help deliver the project
HS2 Ltd has launched its new start-up ‘Innovation Accelerator’ calling for entrepreneurial ideas that can help drive project efficiencies and create wider long-term economic benefits around the UK’s new high-speed line project.
Artist impression of HS2 at Birmingham Curzon Street station. Credit: Midlands Connect
Focused around HS2’s three innovation challenges: productivity, the environment, and the circular economy; the launch of the Innovation Accelerator is a call-to-arms for individuals or firms with bright ideas to help deliver Europe’s largest infrastructure project.
The online portal will be open for one month, after which time HS2 will chose five of the entered ideas to take forward on the Innovation Accelerator. The Accelerator will provide the five winning firms with commercial and technical support and rent-free working space to develop their proposal. After six months solutions will be showcased and pitched to industry investors and HS2’s supply chain, which is made up of the thousands of suppliers.
Launching the portal, HS2 Head of Innovation, Howard Mitchell, said: “I encourage individuals and firms of all sizes – from start-ups and budding entrepreneurs to established businesses – to go online and share their ideas with HS2. The construction of HS2 will show the world the very best of British skills, innovation and ambition. We hope that the Accelerator programme, which is an innovation itself, will both offer new ways of delivering HS2, but also generate new jobs, technology and opportunities.”
Products already delivered by HS2’s wider innovation programme have included devices for protecting site workers’ hearing and a device to ensure maintenance of distanced working while COVID-19 restrictions remain in place.