Sixth HS2 innovation accelerator launched

HS2 Ltd has launched its sixth Innovation Accelerator programme, as the company behind Britain’s largest infrastructure construction programme seeks new ways to deliver major projects.

Working in partnership with the Connected Places Catapult, the programme is looking to new and existing tech firms to suggest innovative technologies to speed up design, automate construction handover and strengthen the role of the circular economy during site decommissioning at a project’s end.

Construction of HS2, which will link London and Birmingham, is now well underway. Once complete, it will almost halve journey times between Britain’s two largest cities and free up space for more local trains on the most crowded parts of the existing west coast mainline.

The civil engineering programme is now at peak construction and over the coming years the project will start to transition into a working railway. The first phase of the line between west London and the West Midlands is due to open between 2029 and 2033.

“HS2 is at peak construction in 2024 and there’s still a vast amount to do on what remains Britain’s largest investment in transport infrastructure. It therefore offers a huge opportunity to develop and or hone technologies to help deliver Britain’s new high speed railway.

“HS2’s innovation accelerator is a metaphorical laboratory and test bench to develop new tech solutions to drive improved productivity and efficiencies for the high speed rail programme and future projects – both large and small.”
HS2 Ltd senior innovation manager Jon Kelly

Applications are now open and can be made until 28 April.

Up to 6 enterprises will join the 5-month Accelerator programme in June 2024.

After five months of development inside the Accelerator, the firms’ solutions will be showcased and pitched to industry investors and HS2’s supply chain, consisting of the thousands of companies ranging from the largest international engineers to specialist suppliers to the project.