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HS2 is looking for more ways to use new technology to make the multi-billion-pound high-speed rail project more efficient, after ideas including 3D concrete printing and automated drones to assist with tree planting caught its attention in the first round of its “Innovation Accelerator” programme.
The first tranche of the programme attracted 109 applicants.
Now HS2 is looking to recruit five more small firms with fresh thinking on how
to optimise digital solutions for building HS2, and how future HS2 passengers will
best be able to spend their time at stations while waiting for trains.
The winning five entrants will join the winners from the
first tranche, which focused on productivity, the environment, and the circular
The online application portal is open at https://www.innovationbham.com/high-speed-two-ltd-accelerator. It shuts on 18 September.
The Innovation Accelerator programme will provide commercial
and technical support and rent-free Birmingham-based working space to the
successful entrants, allowing them to develop their proposal. After six months,
solutions will be showcased and pitched to industry investors and HS2’s supply
The successful enterprises will be revealed in the autumn.
Howard Mitchell, HS2 Ltd head of innovation, said: “We
received more than 100 applications from innovative tech start-ups and SMEs to
join Cohort One of HS2’s Innovation Accelerator programme, which beat all our
“The level of interest underlines the opportunity that
HS2 offers to some of the most innovative and dynamic young firms in the
“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.”