HS2 Accelerator

Applications are now closed.

This is a High Speed Two Ltd Accelerator Programme supported by Connected Places Catapult.

The programme has launched its search for six small businesses to develop new technology ideas for the rail scheme; to be selected for trial and funded by HS2 and its main contractors. 

The six successful SMEs will be accelerated through a bespoke five-month programme involving: 

  • Business development opportunities across HS2 and construction firms involved in the project, including Sir Robert McAlpine, VolkerFitzpatrick, Bouygues Construction, Balfour Beatty, VINCI, Skanska, Costain, STRABAG, Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall. 
  • Project scoping workshops with domain experts and challenge owners from within HS2, the Department for Transport, and the wider industry. 
  • Investment readiness support including opportunities to meet investors, and best practice advice for raising investment and refining investment strategies and plans. 
  • Bespoke business coaching from a consortium of mentors and technical experts with specialisms in areas including Marketing & PR; Product Development & Strategy and Procurement & Bid Writing. 

Since its conception in 2020, the HS2 Accelerator programme has supported 25 small technology firms who have collectively secured 23 pilot projects across HS2, and more than 50% of the firms are now procured on contracts across the supply chain. The participating SMEs have subsequently raised over £220 million investment & funding, and more than doubled their headcounts, creating over 420 new jobs.

The accelerator challenges and eligibility criteria can be found below.

Application Support Webinar

On 18 April, Connected Places Catapult hosted an Application Support Webinar.

This event gave applicants the opportunity to find out more about the programme offering, challenges, the application process, scoring criteria and the assessment process. There was a live Q&A for prospective applicants to ask any further questions or check their eligibility.

Key Dates

Programme Challenges

1: Accelerating Design in Construction

How can we rapidly explore design possibilities and adapt designs to evolving project requirements and site-specific constraints?

How can we standardise design to promote consistency, efficiency, and excellence across construction projects?

2: Automating Handover in Construction

How can we efficiently and accurately verify as-built assets to their approved designs?

How can we automate and streamline the management, review, and approval of documentation during handover?

3: Reducing Waste in Construction

How can we adopt a more circular approach to deconstruction and disassembly?

What’s on offer to SMEs?

Project Development

Develop funded project opportunities with challenge owners & domain experts.

Coaching and Mentoring

Bespoke support from our consortium of mentors and technical experts.

Business Development

Spark new business relationships and opportunities with HS2, government and wider industry.

Industry Events & Showcase Opportunities

Exhibit, present and network at industry-leading events and showcases.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible, applicants: 

  • Applicants must be a micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).
  • Applicants can be headquartered outside of the UK, however, they must be able to engage fully with the programme, including attending in-person activities and events.
  • Applicants must have a solution which is technical readiness level (TRL) 5 – 8.  This means that the solution has, at least, been tested or demonstrated in its intended environment and, at most, has been deployed as a first-of-a-kind commercial system.

How to apply

Applications are now closed.

Supporting Documents

Accelerator Terms & ConditionsApplication GuidanceChallenge Specification

Point of contact

If you have any questions about the programme and application, please contact:

Jasmine Pollock, Accelerator Programme Manager, Connected Places Catapult. jasmine.pollock@cp.catapult.org.uk