Three innovation challenges for HS2

HS2 Ltd, the government-funded company responsible for developing the high-speed railway of the same name, is looking for groundbreaking ideas and solutions. The only major requirement is that they should address three key innovation challenges. HS2 Ltd plans to apply the five most innovative concepts and propositions during the construction of the planned high-speed route.

To this end, the government-funded company has launched an Innovation Accelerator, the dedicated digital platform for sharing ideas. “I encourage individuals and firms of all sizes – from start-ups and budding entrepreneurs to established businesses – to go online and share their ideas with HS2,” said Howard Mitchell, Head of Innovation at HS2 Ltd. The online is in operation since 16 June and will be open for applicants within a month, until the mid-July.

Afterwards, HS2 Ltd will select five of the entered ideas to take forward on the Innovation Accelerator. The winners will be provided with the commercial and technical support for developing their ideas. Eventually, after six months, the solutions will be showcased and pitched to industry investors and HS2’s supply chain.

Three challenges

The proposed bright ideas and concepts should be addressed to HS2’s three innovation challenges: the circular economy, the environment and productivity. For each challenge, the government-funded company defined three questions that will help inventors to generate their propositions. Thus, the questions related to the circular economy are dealt with the minimising the amount of virgin material used for the HS2 construction and maximising the re-use potential of materials within the project.

The environment challenge refers to the habitats located along the HS2 route. It is planned to plant 7 million trees near the tracks but HS2 Ltd considers that it is not enough. As for productivity questions, they ask the applicants on improving the time management, implementing new digital solutions and enhancing the delivery and replication of materials needed for the HS2 project.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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