Jo Johnson has announced that innovative ideas that could transform rail travel for passengers might be in line for a piece of up to £3.5 million funding.
The First of a Kind Competition, which is in its second year, aims to find ideas that can be adapted to improve the rail network.
The competition is run by Innovate UK and is part of the Department of Transport’s wider Accelerating Innovation in Rail (AIR) scheme. This year it focuses on 2 themes — decarbonising of the railway and improving the passenger experience in stations.
Earlier in 2018, 10 projects succeeded in securing funding for improving the passenger experience.
Round 2 of the FOAK competition runs from 8 October to 28 November 2018 and is open to projects looking for individual funding of between £250,000 and £350,000.
What did the officials say?
Mr Johnson said:
There are many brilliant ideas already out there that, with just minor modifications, could help to transform rail journeys for passengers across the network.
We want to hear from those companies whose projects fit this template, because we can offer them the grant funding to make that a reality.
We are investing in the biggest rail modernisation programme since Victorian times and we want to put passengers at the heart of everything we do.
Simon Edmonds, Innovate UK’s Director, Manufacturing, Materials and Mobility, said:
We are delighted to be working with DfT on this competition. We want to unlock the talent of UK companies to demonstrate tomorrow’s stations today and to contribute to de-carbonising the railway. This first of a kind competition will result in tangible, realistic prototypes that have the potential to meet these challenges, to deliver a greener railway and an enhanced customer experience.