Tuesday, November 13, 2018

New Competition Opens to Stimulate Freight and Passenger Rail Sector in UK - but Hurry

Partnership Between Two Government Funded Organisations
Shipping News Feature
UK – A new partnership between Network Rail and Innovate UK, both now arms of the government, hopes to see new ideas, greater efficiencies and more investment in the railway system, both for freight and passenger operations. By working with Innovate UK, Network Rail says it will make it easier for other organisations, especially those not familiar with working in the railway sector, to get a foot in the door where they have not been able to before.

This relationship is aimed at reducing cost for the taxpayer-funded organisation by tapping into new suppliers as well as help UK based companies develop new products and services to export. The news comes as the railway infrastructure company says it is transforming, and increasingly opening up to new ideas that bring value for money and innovation.

To mark the new partnership, Innovate UK and Network Rail have opened a competition for UK businesses to win a share of up to £300,000 for projects that develop and demonstrate tools to automatically plan rail infrastructure, helping deliver the Whole System Modelling agenda to put performance at the heart of planning. Entry details can be seen here and entries close on 19 December 2018.

Aligned to its Open for Business programme introduced following the Hansford Review, the partnership says it illustrates Network Rail’s commitment to breaking down barriers to entry, making it easier for other organisations to invest in and build on the railway which is vital to economic growth. They say the railway creates jobs, enables the building of houses, connects communities, and enhances the productive potential of the UK economy by up to £10.2 billion a year.

Photo: With work well under way on the Crossrail project, Network Rail is keen to expand infrastructures and services in other areas.