University of Birmingham (lead)

UK Rail Research Innovation Network

The network of centres aims to transform rail technology research and innovation in the UK.

Project summary

In partnership with the rail industry, the UK’s leading rail research universities led by the University of Birmingham will establish an internationally unique, world-class Network of Centres of Excellence bringing together academic and industry partners to deliver new challenge-led research, accelerate technology development and deploy innovative products into the rail industry.

A UKRPIF investment of £28 million will leverage a minimum of £61 million of new private industry match-funding investment to establish three national collaborative rail research centres focusing on:

  • Digital Systems Integration at the University of Birmingham
  • Rolling Stock Innovation led by the University of Huddersfield
  • Infrastructure Innovation led by the University of Southampton.

Supported by government and key industry bodies, including the Rail Supply Group (RSG) and Rail Delivery Group (RDG), this multimillion pound initiative is recognised as being critical to the delivery of the rail sector’s industrial strategy for growth and long-term success, enabled through world-class science and innovation.

The UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN) will future-proof the UK rail industry through innovation and collaboration by creating opportunities that will boost the UK economy and drive productivity.

The network of centres will transform rail technology research and innovation in the UK, placing the UK as a world leader. The expertise from the centres will be shared through co-location of industry staff, workshops, conferences and projects enabled by joint PhD programmes and systems-level collaborative projects commissioned by industry.

Working in partnership with the rail supply chain, the centres will deliver a competitive advantage to the UK through supporting delivery of the RSG strategy and delivering technology innovation leading to transport improvement.

Uniquely, this will cover the full range of interrelated rail systems technologies, secure inward investment to the UK from international companies and deliver export growth to a global market set to reach €176 billion per annum.