HS2 and Innovate UK last week (Wed 21 Oct) announced they will be teaming up to drive innovation on the UK’s largest construction project.
The Innovate UK at HS2 2020: Small Business Research Initiative is now open to small and medium-sized firms that will receive support to put together research and development plans for their proposal.
The scheme looks to harness innovative ways to advance the digitalisation and automation on construction, improve efficiency, and 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 costs 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 solutions and that their innovative 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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