Transport Minister Rachel Maclean to open RIA Innovation Conference

25 March 2021

The Railway Industry Association (RIA) has today announced that Transport Minister Rachel Maclean MP will open its 2021 Innovation Conference.  

Rachel Maclean MP, who has the future of transport and decarbonisation in her ministerial portfolio, will share her insights on how rail innovation will be crucial for the UK’s future transport system.

This year’s Innovation Conference, which takes place from 28-30 April 2021, will also feature a wide range keynote addresses, workshops, and extensive virtual networking opportunities around the theme of the Railway of the Future.

David Clarke, Technical Director at RIA, said: “We are thrilled to have Transport Minister Rachel Maclean MP as a keynote speaker for this year’s RIA Innovation Conference.

“Innovation has a critical role to play in building a greener, more efficient and truly accessible rail network that serves passengers in the future, with the vast potential of new technologies and approaches to help decarbonise and upgrade the UK’s railways. It is great to have the Minister open this year’s event to discuss these key issues and look at how the rail industry can support the Government’s plans to recover from the Coronavirus pandemic.  

“We very much look forward to hearing from Minister Maclean and our fantastic line-up of speakers across the three days - we hope to see you there!” 

RIA’s award-winning Innovation Conference brings together leading innovators, clients and policymakers from across the sector and beyond, to showcase some of the leading technologies and projects in rail, and help connect members of the industry involved in innovation. The event, which will take place virtually for the first time ever, is open to everyone from across the rail industry and beyond.

Strategic Partners for the Conference include Network Rail and the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN). The Conference’s confirmed sponsors are Platinum Sponsor Knorr-Bremse, Gold Sponsor Altran and Silver Sponsors Porterbrook, Harmonic and Ricardo Rail.

Notes to Editors


  1. To find out more and book your attendance
  2. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. RIA has some 300 companies in membership in a sector that contributes £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people—more than the workforce of Birmingham. It is also a vital industry for the UK’s economic recovery, supporting green investment and jobs in towns and communities across the UK. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number). RIA works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe and to share best practice and innovation across the industry.

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