RIA’s Unlocking Innovation scheme

Do you need help…

…getting your innovations on to the railway?

The UK rail sector is a complex industry that has often struggled to bring in new products and services due to a lack of openness and transparency, weak capability in terms of partnerships and a disinclination to look outside the rail industry for new ideas.

The Railway Industry Association’s Unlocking Innovation Scheme (UIS) is helping to overcome these challenges, making it easier for clients and suppliers to come together to share challenges and capabilities, to identify appropriate innovations and create new business opportunities.

At the heart of the scheme are the innovative workshops that typically bring together over 180 people representing more than 120 organisations from right across the rail sector and beyond. The workshops provide a fast-paced mixture of plenary and interactive sessions with presentations, case studies, ‘elevator pitches’ and product acceptance surgeries, underpinned by the all-important networking.

The workshops all feature key industry clients, as well as suppliers from in and outside the rail sector, who are waiting to hear your ideas, products, services and challenges.

So join us – make things happen.

To get involved, e-mail innovate@riagb.org.uk

The Unlocking Innovation scheme is open to any organisation that can bring value to the rail industry, whether part of the existing supply chain or not. Places are free of charge but prior registration is essential.

Registration for the Railway Industry Association’s UIS workshop #21 is now open and will take place in Liverpool on 5th April 2017 in collaboration with the North West Rail Industry Leaders Group .

The workshop is free to attend. It is an exceptional opportunity to understand more about the rail industry, hear about challenges and capabilities and identify routes to market for your innovations.

Our events typically attract 180+ attendees from around 120 organisations and offer a stimulating mix of presentations, elevator pitches, product acceptance surgeries, breakout sessions and plenty of networking opportunities with clients and suppliers.


North West Rail Industry Leaders Group brings together businesses to help develop and support the rail industry in the region. Ian Dolman, Managing Director, Transit Systems, Wabtec Faiveley UK will provide an overview of their work and how to get involved.

Would you like to understand more about the train operator Northern Rail?

Wayne Batty, Head of Innovation, will provide insight into the franchise, their transformation agenda and their innovation challenges.

Kelvin Davies, Innovate UK will share details on a number of funding opportunities to support innovation within the rail industry.  We can’t say more just yet, but if you want to be part of a collaboration and apply for funding, this is an excellent opportunity to understand more and network with others.

Is the world of innovation investment an unknown to you? Paul Tranter, PCS International, who specialises is a helping SME’s access investment, present the 5 key requirements to attract funding.

Are you aware of the opportunities and benefits of working with academia?

Simon Iwnicki, Director of the Institute of Railway Research, will take you through how to engage, access and benefit from working with academia.

How do other industries innovate? The Advanced Propulsion Centre will provide insight into unlocking innovation in the automotive industry and beyond.

Product Acceptance is a key step in getting your innovation deployed in the industry. Product Acceptance specialists, Roger Moore, Network Rail and Terry Price, London Underground, will be holding one-to-one surgeries to answer any questions you may have.

A small number of elevator pitches are available for those organisations wanting to share their challenges or capabilities, but please note these are not sales pitches.

The Demo Zone offers the opportunity for a number of organisations to highlight their latest innovations, but the space allocation is strictly limited to a 1 metre table top and a single optional 1 metre banner.

Register now to take part! Click here to register.

If you would like to be considered for an elevator pitch or the demo zone please tick the relevant box when registering.