SBRI first of a kind round 2: demonstrating tomorrow’s stations and a greener railway

Fund Name: demonstrating tomorrow’s stations and a greener railway
Project Length: No more than 9 months
Project Value: Share of up to £3.5m
Deadline: 28/11/2018


The aim of this competition is to demonstrate how proven technologies can be integrated into a railway environment for the first time (‘first of a kind’ demonstrations). It aims to stimulate innovation in the rail industry. We will help innovative suppliers take the final step to market readiness. This is the second in a series of first of a kind (FOAK) rail competitions.

Fund details

You must prove you have a well-developed innovation with a high technology readiness level (TRL) that delivers the expected outcomes when integrated in complex real-world railway applications.

Innovate UK will fund integration and direct user testing. Your solution must be field-tested and ready for use with an end customer by the end of your project.

Your application must demonstrate potential benefits to passengers and customers, including:

  • why customers would buy the product
  • how the funding will help companies in the consortium grow and result in broader economic benefits
  • how you will obtain a clear route to market

Your project must:

  • make taking up technologies less risky and faster
  • be pre-commercial
  • collect customer and performance feedback
  • provide a business case for using the solution in a commercial environment
  • consider the priorities of current and future franchises
  • address elements of the 4Cs:
    1. Costs: reducing by 50% or more.
    2. Capacity: doubling.
    3. Carbon: halving emissions.
    4. Customers: improving their experience.
  • provide relevant proofs, so your innovation can attract customers, get insurance, supply warranties and attract financing

The relevant proofs are:

  • the technology works as designed when integrated into larger complex systems and delivers the expected outcomes
  • the technology is accepted by and delivers benefits for customers and the broader rail industry
  • the revenue potential for the innovation within a real commercial context
  • the financing and business models can be delivered within a complex programme and consortium structure

Innovate UK expect to fund projects with total costs between £250,000 and £350,000, including VAT. Projects must plan to start by 1 March 2019 and can last up to 9 months. Projects longer than 9 months will not be supported.


To lead a project you:

  • can be an organisation of any size
  • must carry out your project work in the UK

Applicants are welcome from all sectors. Your consortium:

  • must include a potential integration partner
  • must involve a railway asset owner (stations, rolling stock, infrastructure), an experienced rail organisation and a rail organisation that has the potential to become a customer (these can all be the same organisation)
  • will ideally include an innovative start-up supply company that is already delivering in another sector
  • will ideally include an organisation with rail expertise, such as a train operating company, rolling stock manufacturer, or operator and infrastructure owner

Partners may only be involved on a subcontract basis.

Get in touch

If you think that you might be eligible for this fund, please Get In Touch by filling out the contact form below.

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