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SBRI: innovation in railway platform end and edge technology

Registration is closed
Funding details
Registration opens
02 Dec 2019, 00:00
Registration closes
22 Jan 2020, 12:00
22 Jan 2020, 12:00
Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £200,000 and £360,000, plus VAT. Projects will be 100% funded.
Network Rail

This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition. It is open to organisations of all sizes based in the UK, EU or EEA.

Network Rail will invest up to £1.08 million, plus VAT. This will support the development of a technological and/or physical solution which will detect and deter trespass onto the railway from platform ends and edges.

Whilst Network Rail are eager to embrace new forms of innovation, the solution must be scalable to suit a variety of station environments. This will be tested through trials at multiple live station environments.

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £200,000 and £360,000, plus VAT.

Your project should start by 1 May 2020 and can last up to 16 months.

You must allow 4 months for development and installation of your project, followed by a 12-month trial. You must demonstrate suitability to undertake work proposed in a live railway station environment. At the close of the trial, your project must deliver evidence of achieving rail industry readiness level (RIRL) 6.

We expect to fund at least 3 projects.

Lead organisation

Your organisation must:

  • be an organisation of any size
  • carry out the demonstration in the UK
  • be based in the UK, EU, or the EEA

Your organisation can work alone or, if you do not have all the required expertise, you can work with others as subcontractors.

We understand it may be a challenge to access railway assets and get permission to make modifications. You will need to develop your own relationships with railway asset owners, but to get help finding sub-contractors you could:

attend the competition briefing event in London on 5th December 2019 – also available as a webcast;

contact the Knowledge Transfer Network’s Transport team;

or contact railway organisations such as the Rail Industry Association.

Successful projects will be 100% funded. The funding is provided by Network Rail and the competition process is managed by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation.

Applications must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively for research and development (R&D) services. R&D does not include:

  • commercial development activities such as quantity production
  • supply to establish commercial viability or to recover R&D costs
  • integration, customisation or incremental adaptations and improvements to existing products or processes

Network Rail’s security challenges include trespass at platform ends and edges (such as fare evasion or shortcuts) and incursion over platform ends and edges to commit crime (such as cable theft or vandalism). Network Rail is seeking to demonstrate the capability of physical and/or technological solutions to combat these challenges.

Your solution must be scalable to suit different station environments, including those with:

  • no station staff (referred to as basic)
  • some station staff or other ability to respond (medium)
  • live station response available (advanced)

When a trespass is detected, your solution must have the ability to deter physically, visually or audibly. In addition, it must be able to send an alert to a designated person or system to enable a response.

Your project must trial a solution in 2 live station environments for 12 months to account for seasonal fluctuations in trespass. Your application must describe the expected costs for:

  • development
  • installation at 2 stations
  • monitoring over a 12-month period

The goal is to install trespass reduction solutions that work for the end user. The objective is to enhance safety and reduce the number of minutes of delay resulting from trespass.

Specific themes

We discourage you from focusing on:

  • surveillance analytics
  • facial recognition
  • alerts driven by social media mood and/or geo-location
  • mobile phone analysis

Network Rail will give all applicants:

  • a list of stations representative of those to be used for the trial
  • Rail Industry Readiness Levels guidance
  • access to specific Network Rail standards (on request)

This supporting information will be available on the secure file upload site when the competition opens.

Network Rail will give successful applicants:

  • access to trial stations
  • access to applicable Network Rail standards
  • product acceptance guidance
  • contact with Network Rail installation and maintenance teams
  • contact with Network Rail Telecom resource

For further information, please attend the competition briefing event in London on 5th December 2019, or watch the live webcast.