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HS2 and Innovate UK to drive new ideas in the construction industry

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HS2 Ltd – the company delivering Britain’s new high speed rail network – and Innovate UK – the UK’s innovation agency – have today (Wednesday 21 October 2020) teamed up to drive innovation on Britain’s largest construction project.  

The Innovate at HS2 2020: Small Business Research Initiative is open to small and medium-sized firms who will receive support to put together research and development plans for their proposal. 

The scheme is looking to harness innovative ways to advance the digitalisation and automation on construction; improve efficiency; integrate and digitise the many interfaces of a construction project the size of HS2. Other innovations sought as part of this initiative include recruitment; and cost management and control.

With the R&D phase beginning in March 2021, each of the 10 selected firms will have three months to demonstrate the desirability and feasibility of their solution and that their innovation has a viable business case. 

Commenting, HS2 Ltd innovation manager, Rob Cairns said: 

“Thousands of businesses right across Britain are already getting involved in HS2, benefiting from the project and creating jobs at a time when the country needs it most. 

“There are huge benefits to be reaped from innovating in the construction sector – not just for HS2’s delivery but also to provide a legacy of innovation benefitting future infrastructure projects.  

“HS2 encourages innovative small businesses to come forward with their ideas. We’ll help the chosen 10 firms to hone and develop their solutions and integrate with the HS2 supply chain, unlocking a route to market.” 

Simon Edmonds, Deputy Executive Chair and Chief Business Officer, Innovate UK, said: 

“HS2 has the potential to revolutionise Great Britain’s railway. It will connect commerce and communities, providing capacity and speed. It is right that such an innovative project should call upon the UK’s most innovative smaller companies in its delivery. Innovate UK can bring its unique ability to reach these enterprises and bring forward the best of British ideas.” 

Further details of the competition will be published at https://apply-for-innovation-funding.service.gov.uk/competition/708/overview Applications close on 16 December 2020.

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BDC 301 February 2023