Unlocking Innovation series on Data-driven Maintenance announced

8 June 2021

The Railway Industry Association’s leading Unlocking Innovation events will return next month, to look at how the use of data is transforming maintenance in the rail industry.

The events on ‘Data-driven Maintenance’ will take place on Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 July 2021, and will be held virtually due to the extension of Coronavirus restrictions after 21 June 2021.
The events, which will be held in partnership with RIA’s Strategic Partners Network Rail and the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN), will examine the challenges and opportunities in moving towards condition-based maintenance regimes, underpinned by remote monitoring (RCM), sensing, datalogging and processing technologies.

On Tuesday 6 July, the sessions will be titled ‘knowing your asset’ and ‘collecting your data’, and will concentrate on the first key jigsaw pieces of RCM – knowing what to measure, and how to measure it. And on Wednesday 7 July, we will cover the other jigsaw pieces: analysing and interpreting the data, and enabling the business to use that data to deliver tangible results to cost, quality and safety.

Confirmed speakers for the events include:

  • Ian Bridges, Professional Head of Signalling, Balfour Beatty Rail and President, IRSE;
  • Tim Flower, Chief Intelligent Infrastructure Engineer, Network Rail;
  • Stephanie Klecha, Head of Digital Services, Porterbrook;
  • Dr Luis Canhoto Neves, Faculty of Engineering Digital Learning Director, University of Nottingham;
  • And many more due to be announced shortly.
Sam Bemment, Technical and Innovation Manager at Railway Industry Association (RIA), said:  “The technology around remote condition monitoring is exciting, and there is much ongoing work around successfully interpreting data to enable true reliability centred maintenance regimes. The topic is a diverse one, stretching across both infrastructure and rolling stock engineering.

“We will highlight some best practice from within rail and feature case studies from other industries, and give a wide overview of current and near-future technologies. In addition to exploring technical advances, the events will also look at the skills and business change processes that will enable a shift to truly modern front-line inspection and maintenance practices. We hope to see you there!”

The events are free and open to all - to register please follow the link here.

Notes to Editors


  1. Journalists are welcome to register, either via the link, or by emailing Alexis.King@riagb.org.uk.
  2. The in-person events and evening reception will be subject to the Government guidance and RIA will have social distancing measures in place.
  3. Photo courtesy of Porterbrook.
  4. About the Unlocking Innovation Programme: RIA’s highly regarded Unlocking Innovation events bring together the people with ideas and ambition to drive change within the rail industry. The events create a platform for large and small companies, academics and innovators with the aim of developing productivities that will drive invention in the industry. Unlocking Innovation events also aim to create new supply chains, to build value and benefit the UK economy, rail suppliers and ultimately the customers, the rail users. Find out more here
  5. 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 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.
  6. About the Network Rail R&D Programme: Network Rail have made an investment £350m into the R&D portfolio in a bid to enhance invention and creativity in products, systems and equipment that will develop the industry and ultimately benefit rail users. https://www.networkrail.co.uk/industry-and-commercial/research-development-and-technology/research-and-development-programme/
  7. About UKRRIN: Formed in 2017, the UK Rail Research & Innovation Network (UKRRIN) brings the leading Universities in Rail with the industry to collaborate on ideas and drive aspiration and innovation. RIA is a founding member. https://www.ukrrin.org.uk 

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