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  • Writer's pictureDamon Butcher

SBRI: FOAK 2022 Rail Freight

Updated: May 16, 2022



Organisations can apply for a share of £7,610,000, inclusive of VAT, to deliver innovations to address railway priorities across 3 themes.

Open date: 20/04/2022

Close date: 08/06/2022

Max Funding: Share of £400,000

Match Funding: 50%

Collaboration: Collaborative or single

Funding Type: Grant

Fund Provider(s): SBRI

Industries: Railways



This competition is part of a larger ‘first of a kind’ demonstrator initiative, on behalf of DfT. The initiative aims to accelerate innovation in the UK rail sector and enable technologies to be readily and efficiently integrated into the railway system. This competition is the sixth in the first of a kind portfolio.

This first of a kind competition has three themes:

  • Theme 1 - Low emissions and a greener railway

  • Theme 2 - Rail Freight (this theme)

  • Theme 3 - Cost efficiency and performance priorities for a reliable railway

It is your responsibility to ensure you are submitting your application to the correct theme for your project. You will not be able to transfer your application and it will not be sent for assessment if it is out of scope.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process.

Any adoption and implementation of a solution from this competition would be subject to a separate, possibly competitive, procurement exercise. This competition does not cover the purchase of any solution.

Your project: can start by 1 October 2022 must end by 30 September 2023 can last up to 12 months Applicant To lead a project, you can: be an organisation of any size work alone or with others from business, research organisations, research and technology organisations or the third sector as subcontractors Applicants are welcome from all sectors. Your project must involve: an owner of railway assets (for example stations, rolling stock or infrastructure) an experienced railway organisation a rail organisation that has the potential to become a customer These criteria can be met by a single organisation or up to three separate organisations. You must also: include a potential integration partner have a letter of support signed by a senior individual, from a potential railway customer organisation Proposals into this competition must already be high maturity at Rail Industry Readiness level 5 or above. You must evidence this as part of your application. We welcome projects that include either an: innovative start-up supply company that is already delivering in another sector organisation with railway expertise, such as train operating companies, a freight operator, rolling stock manufacturers or operators and infrastructure owners This competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian entity as lead or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian source. Contracts will be awarded to a single legal entity only. However, if you can justify subcontracting components of the work, you can engage specialists or advisers. This work will still be the responsibility of the main contractor. If you are awarded a contract, you will be required to exhibit your project at the 2023 Innovate UK annual rail exhibition. We will provide the space and advise you of any technology you need to organise. You will also be able to lease equipment from the venue through us. The date and location of the event will be announced on the KTN website in December 2022. This is anticipated to be a live event. Previously funded projects If you have previously been funded for the same or similar innovations, you will not be eligible for this competition. Applications for this competition need to be materially different from previously funded innovations. The decision of Innovate UK and DfT on this matter will be final. Interviews If your online application is assessed as eligible, you may be invited to attend an interview, where you must give a presentation. Your interview will take place either online or at a designated location. The date and time of your interview will be included in your invitation, with instructions for your presentation


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