UK: Not-for-profit networking and development organisation the Rail Innovation Group is seeking recently-founded companies to join a Start-Up Festival to take place at the InnoTrans 2020 trade show in Berlin in September.
RIG launched the start-up recruitment drive in London on January 27 at an event attended by Business, Enterprise, Innovation & Skills Minister Nadhim Zahawi.
Entitled ‘Start Up Rail: Unleashing UK Start-Up Culture’, the national tour is intended to discover the most promising UK start-ups to bring to InnoTrans 2020. Recruitment events are planned in Liverpool, Glasgow, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, Belfast and on the south coast to engage with digital suppliers which may not currently be considering the rail market.
RIG says that Start Up Rail builds on the government’s ambitions to promote the UK technology sector’s role in fighting climate change and increasing exports, as well as its Rail Sector Deal commitments to harness the innovation of small suppliers.
RIG hopes to target a wider community which is ‘not part of the traditional rail supply chain’, broadening the experience and talent pool available to the national rail industry.
‘There are a huge number of exciting opportunities across the sector as we look ahead to InnoTrans 2020’, Zahawi said. ‘The Start Up Rail programme will help to unleash the potential of UK tech communities to meet national challenges and promote global opportunities for even the newest UK businesses.’
‘As the founder of a start-up company in Bristol, the Start Up Rail programme has been invaluable to us in discovering the scale of routes into the rail sector’, added Emily Kent, founder of intelligent video software specialist One Big Circle Ltd. ‘The national tour will have a definite impact on the tech communities given the opportunity to engage with the rail market from their own locations.’
‘I’m always impressed by the commitment of the rail sector to embrace new technological approaches’, emphasised Liam Henderson, Chair of RIG. ‘Start Up Rail is our way of showing this energy to small companies across the country, keen to see their businesses thrive on a national and international stage. We’re truly encouraged by the approaches we’ve had from stakeholders and welcome new partnerships across industry.’