Sheffield 3

UK: The Digi-Rail SCR initiative has been launched to seek out and fast-track digital technology innovations that are being developed by SMEs in the Sheffield City Region, or which already exist in other sectors and would deliver major benefits for the rail industry.

The Digi-Rail programme is based at the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research & Education, and has been operating in the West Milands since 2018, offering support including access to railway specialists, equipment and facilities to help SMEs enter or grow their offering in the digital rail field.

The three-year Sheffield programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and is being delivered in collaboration with Unipart Rail, which is providing expertise in product application and guiding small businesses through the product launch process.

‘The rail industry can be incredibly difficult to access due to its complexity and relatively high barriers to entry’, said Unipart Rail Marketing Director Jake Rudham. ‘This can result in potentially transformative technologies failing to reach their maturity and become commercially viable. By providing the innovating companies with help and guidance, the route to launching new products can be both smoothed and accelerated.’