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A hydrogen powered train travelling along a track
The Hydroflex train being tested on a track

What better way to kick-off 2020, than to enter a competition that can take your product idea to new heights.

BCRRE is hosting a workshop on Wednesday 22 January for our stakeholder community about a new rail competition that will fund a number of innovation projects.

Innovate UK’s Small Business Research Initiative has launched a First Of A Kind rail competition, funded by the Department of Transport (DFT). The aim of this competition is to accelerate innovation in the UK rail sector and enable technologies to be readily and efficiently integrated into the railway system.

This competition has 4 themes:

  • environmental sustainability
  • customer experience
  • optimised railway operations
  • optimised and cost-effective maintenance

There is a total of £9.4m up for grabs and Innovate UK plans to share this out in projects to a value of £100K-400K. If you are an SME on the cusp of a brilliant product then join us and seize the opportunity to speak with our rail experts here at the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Innovation (BCRRE) and begin to envision how your idea could be developed into a market ready project.

During the session you’ll hear how BCRRE has previously won funding of a similar kind and the major impact it has had on railway research both within the UK and globally. We’ll also be looking for ways to maximise this opportunity and connect you to our diverse and growing network and learn more about your products and designs.

The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education provides world-class research, education and innovation to the global rail industry. It is lead partner in the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network and operates the Rail Alliance supply chain trade association, providing breadth of support for innovation and growth in the rail industry.

We encourage SMEs and specifically those focused on Rail to join us and get involved in the chance of winning the fund and developing their product. With the likes of Network Rail, HS2, freight operators and infrastructure providers as major stakeholders in this competition, there is greater scope to innovate, collaborate and solve real-world issues that our rail networks face.

The event will take place at the University of Birmingham. 

To find out details of the day and book your free place, please follow the link below:

SBRI FOAK Competition Consortium Building Workshop registration

For more information on this competition, please visit the Innovate UK website:

GOV.UK - SBRI rail demonstrations: first of a kind 2020

The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) at the University of Birmingham is the largest university-based centre for railway research and education in Europe, developing world-leading new technologies alongside renowned higher education programmes. BCRRE is also part of the UK Rail Research Innovation Network (UKRRIN) and leads the Centre of Excellence in Digital Systems. In 2018, Rail Alliance was welcomed into BCRRE., @bcrre

For further information, please contact Karminder Johal on or 0121 414 4165.