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Rail

Rail is essential to the economic, social and environmental health and growth of the UK, supporting essential travel, commuters, social and leisure travel, healthcare journeys and travel for education purposes. The rail network is the UK’s travel backbone, connecting rural communities to urban areas and facilitating opportunities for all.

The UK rail industry contributes £36bn to the UK economy annually, directly employing 115,000 people and supporting another 250,000 through its supply chain. There were 1,718 billion journeys on the National Rail network in 2016, making it the fifth most used in the world.

As the sector continues to grow, passenger satisfaction, safety, capacity, efficiency, sustainability, digitisation and inclusion are crucial factors to ensuring a resilient rail network.

KTN’s rail team works with major stakeholders within rail to identify key industry challenges, then uses our wider network to connect solution holders (including SMEs, academics and other businesses) to industry to address these needs. We also provide support through events, guidance on grant applications and other networking opportunities.

Rail and Covid-19

Covid-19 has had a major impact on the UK and around the world. Within rail, this has created a number of challenges, and has significantly impacted the industry. UK companies have risen to meet these challenges, providing innovative products and services to tackle a range of needs.  KTN has worked with Innovate UK to promote some examples of how UK innovators can contribute to the rebuilding and growth of rail in UK and around the world.  You can download the PDF here.

The wider transport team works to connect innovations across transport modes, highlighting new opportunities, and projecting your insights in a crowded marketplace.

First of a Kind: Rail Innovation Directory

First of a Kind (FOAK) is funded through the SBRI process to develop demonstrators of innovative solutions to rail challenges. Find out more about SBRI here.

 

This booklet is a showcase of projects funded through the First of a Kind and Accelerating Innovation in Rail competitions from 2017-2020, and aims to highlight innovative technologies which have been successfully demonstrated, for potential customers within the UK rail sector.

Click here to download the directory.

First of a Kind: video case studies

Focusing on ‘Passenger Experience’, ‘Safety and Performance’ and ‘Sustainability’ these videos are a spotlight on some of the companies funded by the SBRI First of a Kind rail innovation competitions.

Our Rail Expert

Daisy Chapman-Chamberlain

Read full profile

Funding Opportunities

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP): 2021 to 2022, round 5

UK registered academic institutions, RTOs or Catapults can apply for a share of up to £8 million to fund innovation projects with businesses or not-for-profits.

Opens: 06/12/2021 Closes: 02/02/2022

Explore Further

Driving the Electric Revolution: Building Talent for the Future 2

Innovate UK’s Driving the Electric Revolution challenge, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £4.5 million in projects to create and deliver course content and materials that will support skills, talent and training across Power Electronics, Machines and Drives (PEMD) manufacturing and supply chains.

Opens: 10/01/2022 Closes: 02/02/2022

Explore Further
13th September

International Rail Competition Briefings

KTN will be hosting two briefing events for two separate competitions in international rail: an SBRI - Digital Transformation of Hanoi Metro Line 5, Vietnam (£300k) and an SBRI - Global Rail Export Innovation for Australia, Canada and India (£450k).

Register here

News

13.10.2021

Risk of Covid-19 transmission in rail

The rail industry has been working hard to increase safety precautions and restore passenger confidence in public transport. KTN has advised rail operators on how transmission risk might be managed and understood in a carriage, in a station and throughout the national rail network.

Read more

01.11.2021

UK5G launches resource hub for the transport and logistics sector

UK5G’s new hub offers practical advice and guidance, as well as inspiration on the adoption of 5G technologies for the transport and logistics sectors.

Read more