Five technology firms focused on helping HS2 to improve the delivery of its rail project have just commenced a four month programme to develop and showcase their innovations.
The quintet form the fifth cohort of the HS2 Accelerator programme – a partnership between Connected Places Catapult, HS2 Ltd and Bruntwood SciTech’s Innovation Birmingham Campus, a digital tech community in the heart of Birmingham’s Knowledge Quarter.
The HS2 Accelerator provides small to medium sized firms (SMEs) with a unique opportunity to collaborate and scale up their businesses on Europe’s largest ever infrastructure project.
Applicants were asked to address HS2’s innovation challenges of assurance and reducing the capital expenditure for delivery of the scheme. The rail scheme is keen to use digital tools to manage risks and impacts of changes to the project, and to harness innovations that can save time and money.
The five successful firms were selected from 76 applications received after the programme started welcoming submissions for the fifth cohort last September.
Technology firms and their innovations selected for the HS2 Accelerator are:
Mafic – Tackling construction’s long standing productivity problem with a better way to motivate workers, improve productivity and protect schedules.
EHAB – A weather risk management platform dedicated to protecting the construction industry and infrastructure from the climate crisis.
Immense Simulations – Enabling the rapid testing of strategic and operational decisions for global transportation in the digital world; reducing the risk of expensive assumptions and sunk costs.
Consequence – An intelligent net zero carbon accounting platform.
Silicon Microgravity – Using next generation ‘gravity sensors’ to measure sub surface conditions to provide engineering assurance and mitigate risk.
Over the next eight weeks the cohort will be engaged in the discovery phase of the Accelerator programme where they meet with relevant stakeholders from HS2 and its supply chain to present their technologies and receive feedback. The following eight weeks of the programme is the development phase in which each of the cohort will validate and develop a use case for their proposed pilot project.
Alongside this, the cohort will also receive bespoke commercial and technical mentoring from the Catapult covering topics such as bid writing, PR and marketing, brand identity, and sales and business development.
Since launching in September 2020, the HS2 Accelerator programme has supported 20 disruptive technology firms and start ups who have collectively won 16 paid pilot projects with the rail scheme. The programme has raised £112 million in investment, funding and contracts, helping to more than double the size of teams involved and create 418 new STEM jobs and economic growth for the UK.