RIA Innovation Conference

About the RIA Innovation Conference 2021

Date and time

Wednesday 28, Thursday 29 and Friday 30 April 2021


The RIA Innovation Conference 2021 will be hosted in an immersive virtual platform (Vfairs) that will give attendees, sponsors and exhibitors the feeling of being in a real venue. Virtual spaces include:


RIA’s innovation events have built an impressive track record over the last decade; they have become key diary dates for innovators in the UK railway industry, in both the supply chain and in client / government organisations, and offer a mix of information, networking and interaction to make innovation happen.

We are proud that our Innovation Conference has won the Trade Association Forum’s Best Conference Award 2018 and MEMCOM's Best Membership Event of the Year 2020!

Our Innovation Conference provides a unique opportunity for engagement between RIA Members and invited representatives from the wider rail industry, as well as from academia and innovation bodies. Regular participants include Network Rail, London Underground, HS2, DfT, BEIS, ORR, Train Operating Companies, Rail Delivery Group, RSSB, UKTram, UK Rail Research & Innovation Network, Transport Systems Catapult, KTN and InnovateUK. Key speakers from within and beyond the industry address important themes surrounding innovation to provoke and inspire.

Read more about the last year’s conference in  Rail Engineer's article by clicking here and watch this video to get a better idea of the nature of the Conference.

Take a look at our 2019 photo gallery

2021 Programme
This year the RIA Innovation conference will explore the theme: Railway of the Future.

The virtual conference will have a mix of thought provoking live-streamed sessions, pre-recorded material to watch during the day, interactive workshops - via Zoom, a virtual exhibition hall, dinner and more surprises delivered to your door*, and lots of new networking tools to explore via our unique platform.

*In partnership with Deliveroo 

Virtual and other main features

Virtual Exhibition Hall
An exhibition area showcases innovative products and services developed by RIA Members, as well as displays from universities and industry bodies. Visitors will be able to visit the 2D exhibitors’ booths through the Exhibition hall area. Exhibitors will be able to pre-book meetings, chat and video call with attendees.

Live-Sessions and pre-recorded content
RIA Innovation Conference 2021 will combine live-streamed sessions/interviews, workshops (concurrent) as well as pre-recorded content to watch during the conference days . There will also be workshops taking place from the exhibition hall.
Attendees will have time to join sessions, network, ask questions and interact with exhibitors and speakers. The content will be available on-line until one month after the event. 


The participation of academia is of utmost importance in sharing cutting-edge technological innovation in rail, which is often driven by our universities. In working together with UKRRIN, we also seek to raise the profile of degrees in rail engineering as a highly attractive and competitive career for potential graduates, with an aim to reduce the skills gap.  


We are proud to boast a wide spectrum of attendees for our Innovation Conferences, bringing together all sectors of the rail industry. These include RIA Members (covering track, signalling, rolling stock, civils and more), Network Rail, Transport for London, DfT, Train Operating Companies, RSSB, UK Tram, universities and Innovate UK.

Ticket Price
To ensure that as many RIA Members and key industry bodies can attend our Innovation Conferences, we set our rates as competitively as possible. The event is open to non-RIA members too. Prices include all food delivery*, welcome box with goodies, surprise live-streamed activity and networking opportunity, as well as a list of leading industry speakers, offering a fantastic deal. We also encourage booking as soon as possible to take advantage of our ‘Early Bird’ discount. 

CPD points 
RIA Innovation Conference is a significant learning opportunity. Delegates should not forget to register the event for CPD points with your professional institution.

Past RIA Innovation Conference
Click on the images to see our picture and video galleries





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Railway Industry Association

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RIA is a company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales Reg. No. 10036044