HS2 launches second wave of Innovation Accelerator programme

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Innovation Accelerator programme,

HS2 has launched the second wave of its Innovation Accelerator programme to search for SMEs with ideas on how to accelerate building work on the railway

It is the second round of recruitment of SMEs and tech start-ups for HS2’s Innovation Accelerator programme.

The first phase in June received over 100 applications.

HS2 is looking to recruit five more small firms with bright ideas on:

  • How people can best spend time at stations before their train goes; and
  • How to optimise digital solutions for building HS2 to make every second count.

The winning five entrants will join the first cohort, chosen from 109 applications from the first recruitment programme, who will work on the challenges of – productivity, environment, and the circular economy.

Innovation Accelerator ideas include 3D concrete printing and using automated drone technology to assist with the planting of seven million trees along the HS2 route.

From today (17 August) an online application portal will be open for one month, after which time HS2 Ltd will choose five of the companies entered to take forward on the Innovation Accelerator.

The Accelerator will provide commercial and technical support and rent-free Birmingham-based working space to develop their proposal.

After six months, solutions will be showcased and pitched to industry investors and HS2’s supply chain, which is made up of the thousands of suppliers.

Enabling new thinking

HS2 Ltd head of innovation, Howard Mitchell said: “We received over 100 applications from innovative tech start-ups and SMEs to join Cohort One of HS2’s Innovation Accelerator programme, which beat all our expectations.

“The level of interest underlines the opportunity that HS2 offers to some of the most innovative and dynamic young firms in the country.

“I’m therefore extremely positive about the prospects for Cohort Two, and new thinking on how we build Britain’s new high-speed rail network, and enable passengers to make best use of their time in our stations.”

The portal closes to applications on 18 September.

HS2 will announce the successful enterprises in the autumn.

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