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£5.5 million available for projects developing ‘first of a kind’ tech for railways

Posted: 8 February 2019 | | No comments yet

The funding is part of the third round of Innovate UK’s initiative, and is focused on technology that will improve environmental performance.

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In the third round of the Innovate UK-led ‘First of a Kind’ (FOAK) funding initiative, £5.5 million from the Department for Transport has been made available for organisations to develop existing innovations that can benefit the rail industry.

Organisations will be able to apply for a share of the government funding to integrate proven new technologies into the UK rail industry; helping meet passenger demand, increase sustainability and offer better journeys to customers.

The themes for this round are reducing noise pollution, bolstering resilience, improving environmental performance and freight reliability.

Rail Minister, Andrew Jones, said: “We have already seen some truly innovative projects developed for the benefit of passengers in the First of a Kind competition, helping to drive forward a greener, cleaner and more reliable rail network. This additional funding will spark even more innovation and ideas that deliver for commuters. We are also investing £48 billion to modernise our railways over the next five years, ensuring people have the safe, frequent and punctual journeys they deserve.”

The competition centres on four themes; infrastructure resilience, including protection against adverse weather conditions; operational resilience, such as using data to inform train maintenance activities; freight, including improved routing and tracking capabilities; noise and environment, including innovations mitigating engine noise.

There are currently 16 projects expected to be funded across all four themes.

Projects should produce an interactive and innovative demonstrator that shows rail industry stakeholders and customers how a technology will work in a real-world rail environment. This can be within a railway station, in rolling stock, on railway infrastructure, or in the environment close to the railway.

The competition opens on 25 February 2019 and the deadline for registration is at midday on 17 April 2019. Organisations of any size are eligible to apply, working alone or collaborating with others as subcontractors.

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