SBRI Competition Rail Demonstrations: First of a Kind 2022

Organisations can apply for a share of up to £7 million inclusive of VAT, to develop demonstrators that offer lower emissions and a greener railway, enable innovations in rail freight, and enable cost efficiencies and performance priorities for a reliable railway.

Event Details


10.00 - 15.00


The Studio
7 Cannon Street
Birmingham & Online
B2 5EP

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Organisations can apply for a share of up to £7.6 million (inclusive of VAT) to develop demonstrators that enable lower emissions and a greener railway, innovations in rail freight, and cost efficiencies and performance priorities for a reliable railway.

Webcast recording is now available


This competition aims to demonstrate innovations to stakeholders and railway customers in a representative railway environment. This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by the Department for Transport (DfT).

This competition is part of a wider ‘First of a Kind’ demonstrator initiative, on behalf of the DfT, 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.

For more information on the background and scope of the competition, please register and attend the briefing event, set to take place in Birmingham on May 5th and streamed online. A recording of the briefing will be made available.

First of a Kind 2022 will open for applications on April 20th.

To lead a project, you must:

  • Be an organisation of any size
  • Carry out your project work in the UK

Applicants are welcome from all sectors. You can work alone or with other organisations as subcontractors.

Your project must involve:

  • An owner of railway assets (i.e. stations, rolling stock or infrastructure)
  • An experienced railway organisation
  • A rail organisation that has the potential to become a customer

You must also:

  • Include a potential integration partner
  • Have a letter of support from a potential customer organisation

We understand it may be challenging to access railway assets and get permission to make modifications. We expect you to develop your own relationships with railway asset owners.

To help build your consortium, we recommend you:

  • Attend the competition briefing
  • Contact KTN’s Rail KTM, Daisy Chapman-Chamberlain
  • Contact railway organisations such as the Railway Industry Association and Rail Forum Midlands


  • 10:30 – Welcome & Housekeeping

Daisy Chapman-Chamberlain | Innovate UK KTN

  • 10:40 – Keynote Speech


  • 10:55 – Competition Briefing (scope)

Kelvin Davies | Innovate UK

  • 11:30 – Freight Priorities

Maggie Simpson OBE | Rail Freight Group

  • 11:45 – Tarmac – Freight

Ben Garner

  • 11:55 – Rail Performance Priorities

Neil Ovenden/ Robin Buchanan-Morgan | Rail Delivery Group

  • 12:10 – Decarbonisation


  • 12:25 – Closing Remarks

Daisy Chapman-Chamberlain

  • 12:30 – Lunch
  • 13:30 – Elevator Pitches & Networking

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