Network Rail will make investments up to £3m in two innovation competitions aimed toward bettering the examination of rail tunnels and station security with knowledge analytics and automation.
Funding for the 2 competitions type a part of Network Rail’s £357m analysis and improvement spending plans for the subsequent 5 years. They are the primary Small Business Research Initiatives (SBRI) the corporate has launched by way of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI’s) InnovateUK.
The initiatives are a part of the corporate’s efforts to simplify its commercial engagements, notably round work with small and medium-sized companions in areas that embody expertise.
“We aim to reduce the cost of running the railway through new technology and working smarter, increase our effectiveness, and become a more dependable partner that’s easier to engage with,” stated Network Rail programme supervisor, Janine Fountain.
One of the competitions goals to enhance the effectivity security of the examinations of greater than 600 tunnels Network Rail is answerable for, which is roughly 335km of constructions.
The majority of tunnels at present want guide examinations on a yearly foundation. Examinations carried out by people are time consuming, pricey and might be harmful for employees.
According to Network Rail, undertaking goals embody the automation of such guide examinations, whereas lowering the necessity for the workforce to entry present infrastructure.
This builds on work the operator had already carried out across the improvement of autonomous robotic examination methods, and analytical instruments to higher seize and handle examination knowledge.
Another competitors focuses on the event of recent security analytics for railway stations, so security surveillance methods and knowledge methods that may work in a station with out inflicting disruption.
The aim is to set up surveillance analytics to improve present Network Rail methods, growing security and lowering delay minutes ensuing from station incidents attributable to suspicious behaviour.
Innovate UK expects tasks to win contracts in the vary of £350,000-£500,000. Both competitions opened on 16 September 2019 and the registration deadline is noon on 6 November 2019.
As a part of Control Period 6 (CP6), a five-year scheme aimed toward bettering effectivity, belief and high quality of companies for customers, Network Rail has an IT funds of practically £1bn. The firm is shifting to a digital factory approach, which can emphasise collaborative methods of working and attempting out new improvements.