Business Minister Nusrat Ghani MP visited the University of Birmingham to learn about its world-leading research in railway innovation.
Ms Ghani toured around the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN) building, to meet researchers from the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, and to understand how innovation in the field of digital railway innovation will benefit not only the rail industry but other sectors too.
The UKRRIN building, which opened in 2020, is one of four Centres of Excellence set up by UKRRIN to deliver high quality research from inception through to market application. Partnerships with industry are fundamental to the Centre’s mission, with research projects firmly focused on supporting transformation change within the sector.
As part of the tour, Ms Ghani visited the Railway Control and Operations Simulation Laboratory, where an advanced railway driving cab simulator enables researchers to evaluate the impacts on railways systems of different signalling systems, rolling stock, operation rules and timetables.
Ms Ghani also heard about the Centre’s work with major organisations, including train operating and infrastructure companies and supply chain companies, to develop a diverse range of testing and monitoring technologies. In addition, she learned about the efforts to accelerate new technologies and products from research into market applications globally through our research framework agreements with Network Rail and with HS2.
Professor Clive Roberts, BCRRE Director said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the Minister to the University and to demonstrate how our strengths in rail research and our close industry partnerships are transforming our rail industry. We are already making significant and rapid progress through our ability to design, test and integrate new technologies and bring them to market through our sector partners whilst also encouraging cross sector diversification.”
Minister for Industry and Investment Security Nusrat Ghani said: “The railways are a huge part of our industrial heritage - and the work being done on digital railway innovation at the University of Birmingham means they’ll remain key to our economic future, too.
“Work like this, that we are supporting through the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network, will help us better harness our strengths in rail industry expertise, to empower the sector to keep innovating and delivering new technologies.”