RIA’s Innovation Conferences


Find out more about this event by viewing our video:

Register your interest for this year’s RIA Innovation Conference 6 & 7 March 2018

The Railway Industry Association are looking forward to welcoming you to the 10th Annual RIA Innovation Conference, which has become the leading event for innovation in the rail sector. If you have not attended before above video of the 2017 Conference gives some idea of what you can except.

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This year the theme will be ‘Technology alone is not enough’ highlighting that commercial success is often achieved by addressing significant non-technical challenges. There will be real examples of successful innovation and partnerships in the rail industry and experience from other sectors including power and off-shore wind and you will hear from Virgin East Coast, Northern and Transpennine Express about their experience and plans for innovation within their franchises. You will also hear about the ambitious plans and funding the industry is putting in place to develop and introduce new technology to address the 4C challenges of improving customer experience and capacity whilst reducing cost and carbon.
The two-day conference will be attended by delegates from HS2, RDG, Train Operators, Network Rail, London Underground, Digital Railway and other stakeholders as well as RIA Members and will have presentations from leaders and innovators from within and beyond the rail industry including:

  • Emma Head, Health, Safety, Security and Environmental Director, HS2, will present on ‘Beyond the technology; putting people at the heart of innovation’
  • Clive Roberts, Professor of Railway Systems, University of Birmingham will be explaining the potential of the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN) which is now open for business
  • Jon Shaw, Chief Engineer, Network Rail will present Network Rail innovation opportunities and challenges
  • Rob Brighouse, Chairman of the East West Railway Company will help us understand ways to unlock the full potential of the Oxford – Cambridge corridor
  • Gary Cooper, Director of Planning, Engineering and Operations at the Rail Delivery Group will present on Innovation in the ‘partnership railway’
  • Finbar Dowling, Customer Service Director for Rolling Stock, Siemens will highlight what rail can learn from the offshore wind power sector in ‘Winds of Change’
  • David Waboso, Managing Director, Digital Railway will explore using innovation to Deliver the Digital Railway
  • Ken Greenwood, Altran UK will present on COMPASS Degraded Mode Working System

The presentations are supported by a full programme of activity including:

  • Interactive workshops as detailed on the following page
  • An exhibition showcasing innovative products and services from RIA Members
  • A UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN) Exhibition
  • ‘Table Sessions’ for RIA Members and others to offer ‘surgeries’ on topics of interest
  • Evening dinner and quiz
  • Lots of networking opportunities with other delegates from across the rail sector.

You will also have a unique opportunity to hear from and engage with each of the RTS Capability Delivery Plan work streams developing the next generation of railway technology, an initiative which is expected to be supported by £400m+ funding from 2019. You will also learn about the complementary UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN). Find out how your company can get involved with these new initiatives, which have the potential to be transformative for the UK rail industry.

Come and hear from the work package owners as follows:

RTS Capability Delivery Plan – Work Package Owner
‘Running Trains Closer Together’ and ‘Service Timed to the Second’ (ETCS L3 and beyond , Traffic Management) Dr Karen Lane, BAE Systems
‘Minimal Disruption to Train Services’ (Intelligent Infrastructure Prognostics, Automated Maintenance) Janine Fountain, Network Rail
‘Efficient passenger flow through stations and trains’ and ‘Personalised customer experience’ (Smart Ticketing, Intelligent Virtual Concierge) Crispin Humm, RDG
‘More Value from Data’ (Railway Internet of Things, Data Sandbox) Karl Butler-Garnham, Network Rail
‘Optimum energy use’ (Discontinuous Electrification, Alternative rolling stock energy) Ouahcene Ourahmoune, Alstom
‘More Space on Trains’ (Reconfigurable Train Interior) James Brown, Angel Trains
‘Intelligent Train’ (Autonomous Train) Ben Carrington, Altran
‘Flexible Freight’ (Ultra Lightweight Freight) Richard Errington, Stobart Rail
‘Low Cost Railway’ (Low Weight Rail Vehicle, Low Cost Branch Line) Neil Tinworth, Unipart Rail
‘Accelerate Research, Development and Technology Deployment’ James Hardy, RSSB
‘Research, Development and Technology into Industry Planning’ David Rowe, Network Rail

Most pertinently to members, as this event is all about networking, we are running Interactive Workshops throughout the two days as follows:

Room Interactive Workshops Leader
Rotunda UK Rail Research and Innovation Network UKRRIN
1 Specifying Digital Railway Ready Signalling Digital Railway Programme
2 Innovation Leadership Group – Barriers to non-technical innovation Iain Roche – HS2 / Chair of ILG
3 Rail Supply Group Procurement Toolkit Rail Supply Group
4 Shift2Rail Opportunities for UK suppliers Network Rail
5 The Future of Traction Power RIA and RIA Members
6 Virtual and Augmented Reality Demonstration Zone Pauley Interactive


The conference will start at 11:00 on 6th March and end at 15:30 on 7th March

The Venue is the Hinckley Island Hotel, Watling Street, Hinckley, LE10 3JA

RIA Members can book delegate and exhibition spaces here https://online.riagb.org.uk/RIA/Registration_Conferences.aspx?EventKey=RIC2018

Non-Members may also apply to attend – email events@riagb.org.uk

If you would like this information in PDF format, please click here