London North Eastern Railway (LNER) is seeking entries from ambitious startups and SMEs for this year’s FutureLabs programme.
FutureLabs 3.0 is the third cohort of LNER’s industry-leading accelerator that is looking to use new digital technologies to solve rail passenger pain points.
These are industry-wide challenges, and to help tackle them the FutureLabs 3.0 team is looking for ambitious startups and SMEs to join a 12-week programme, where they will receive mentoring and funding opportunities to develop and scale-up technology solutions that address them.
This latest Future Labs application round is seeing a stronger interest from start-ups than in previous years, and time is limited for those wishing to take part before the deadline for entries this Friday, 5th August.
Challenges posed by FutureLabs 3.0 include:
- Encouraging rail travel. by demonstrating to passengers that rail is the transport mode of choice by making it even more enjoyable and seamless than ever before.
- Creating a more sustainable railway, to help rail achieve NetZero by 2050.
- Cultivating a safe and secure railway. Rail travel is for everyone, and LNER is looking for ways to deliver an even safer travelling environment for all.
- Exploring future technologies, as LNER is always looking for cutting-edge teams that collaborate to apply and push technology in rail to the next level.
Successful applicants will have the chance to develop and pitch their concept to senior management at LNER.
Previous iterations of the FutureLabs programme have shown how technology can make train journeys better for the customer. The first launch of FutureLabs led to LNER’s QR-code enabled ‘Let’s Eat at Your Seat’ function, which allows customers to enjoy a variety of food and beverages delivered directly to their seat.
As part of Future Labs 3.0, LNER is working with partners Network Rail, Southeastern, Northern and Alt Labs to provide applicants with unrivalled levels of access to the data and environments of multiple rail partners. They will also offer expert advice on creating a proof of concept suitable for marketing.
Applications for FutureLabs 3.0 close on 5th August 2022, with shortlisted companies announced on 12th August 2022. For more information visit: https://lnerfuturelabs.co.uk/
Danny Gonzalez, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer at LNER, said:
“LNER has already established a reputation as a pioneer in digital innovation to improve the onboard experience, by transforming the whole journey from booking to boarding. This committed approach has been pivotal in LNER leading the rail industry in attracting the highest rate of passengers returning to rail in the past year.
“We are incredibly proud to launch FutureLabs 3.0 to continue disrupting the supply chain and driving game-changing partnerships. This year’s challenges will continue our vision of using technology to improve the rail experiences for our customers, as well as deliver more efficient and sustainable travel.”