This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by Innovate UK and jointly delivered by Innovate UK and the Department for International Trade.

The aim of the competition is to support organisations to undertake feasibility studies to demonstrate innovative railway technology solutions for overseas markets.

This is a single phase competition.

Any adoption and implementation of a solution from this competition would be the subject of a separate, procurement exercise and does not guarantee future work. This competition does not cover the purchase of any solution.

Projects must:

  • start on 1st January 2022
  • end by 31 March 2022
  • last up to 3 months
  • have maximum total eligible costs of £50,000 inclusive of VAT

To lead a project, you can be an organisation of any size. Contracts will be awarded only to a single legal entity. However, if you can justify subcontracting components of the work, you can employ specialist consultants or advisers.

Feasibility study R&D contracts will be up to £50,000, inclusive of VAT, for each project for up to 3 months. We expect to fund up to 9 projects.

Your application must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively to R&D services, including solution exploration and design.

You must undertake a feasibility study, that demonstrates how your innovation can support an identified overseas rail sector challenge.

These studies should help to build new international business networks. The competition is delivered by Innovate UK with support from the Department for International Trade.

We are looking to increase the international engagement of innovative organisations. The competition will focus on supporting companies that have strong innovative ideas to adapt their product or service to access new markets.

Your proposed studies must show the potential of an idea in response to the developmental opportunities in Australia, Canada or India. You must also show how you will build international partnerships in those countries.

The purpose of these feasibility studies is to enable you to demonstrate the potential for your innovation to support rail sector challenges in Australia, Canada or India. Collaboration will help accelerate the commercialisation of innovative ideas in fast-growing global markets.

You must provide a letter of support with your application, from a partner in Australia, Canada or India.

You can work with an existing partner or contact your local trade office who can support you in identifying potential contacts. To find your Local Trade Office please visit: https://www.great.gov.uk/contact/office-finder/

This is a pilot competition, designed to support you in developing your technology to meet the requirements of these overseas markets. You will be required to produce a report on the outcomes of your feasibility study on completion. You must include your deliverables in an informative illustrated report, outlining your progress and written in the style of marketing material. This can help with promoting your capabilities with additional overseas organisations. This report is in addition to the formal SBRI end of project report.

Due to current challenges for international travel, it is not anticipated that significant travel to overseas markets will be required for your project. Travel and material costs are expected to be a small proportion of the total R&D services cost. Teams should plan to deliver their project remotely as far as practical.

This competition focuses on delivering feasibility studies targeting the innovation opportunities in the Australian, Canadian, and Indian markets. You must explore how you can adapt your innovation to address one of the following innovation opportunities. Click here to view full details of the scope for each country.

Innovation opportunities in Australia:

  • Operational optimisation
  • Monitoring and predictive maintenance of assets
  • Energy efficiency

Innovation opportunities in Canada:

  • Alternative propulsion technologies
  • Energy efficiency
  • Operational optimisation

Innovation opportunities in India:

  • Security and crowding of stations in urban rail transit
  • Monitoring and predictive maintenance of assets
  • Improving freight operations
  • Increasing train speed

You must work with a partner in Australia, Canada or India to develop and demonstrate your products or services for the market. You can work with an existing partner or contact your local trade office who can support you in identifying potential contacts. To find your Local Trade Office please visit: https://www.great.gov.uk/contact/office-finder/ You must provide a letter of support from a partner in Australia, Canada or India along with your application.

A briefing event will be held on Monday 13th September at 10am: click here to book a place.

If you want help to find a project partner, contact KTN’s Transport team.