Rail Forum Launches Fourth SME Challenge

The Rail Forum is delighted to launch their fourth SME Challenge as part of the Rail Supply Group’s Rail Sector Deal Midlands Pilots.

The SME Challenges are designed to provide opportunities for SMEs to work collaboratively to develop and offer solutions to real needs identified by different rail freight clients, including Tarmac, across the industry.

This fourth challenge will focus on Freight Terminals of the Future. The challenge will be formally launched at an online event on 20th April. All SMEs are welcome to join, and places can be booked here.

The project is a collaboration between a number of businesses: Tarmac, DB Cargo, Freightliner, Ermewa, GB Railfreight and is supported by the University of Derby, Rail Freight Group and the Rail Forum.

The scope is far reaching with the focus on working smarter, not harder.

The launch event on 20th April will provide further details on the scope of the challenge together with additional information on the process, timeframes and how to get involved.

Bob Hodgson, Engagement Manager at Rail Forum said; “We are really pleased to bring this fourth challenge opportunity to the SME community. Some of the areas SMEs should consider are Decarbonisation, Automation and Digitalisation. The Rail Forum SME challenges have been very successful with a number of SME’s gaining First of A Kind funding to bring their products to market.”

Tarmac is among the largest users of rail freight, transporting construction materials by rail UK wide as part of the business’ ongoing sustainability commitments. Chris Swan, Tarmac’s head of rail, said: “We’re always keen to explore new ways of innovating rail freight and, in particular, opportunities to further reduce CO2 across our business and the industry.

“The SME challenge is a great opportunity for collaboration and to discover creative ideas from inside and outside of the sector to develop UK rail terminals of tomorrow. We are proud to be part of such an exciting initiative and look forward to hearing from SMEs nationwide as the challenge gets underway.”

Elaine Clark, CEO of the Rail Forum said; “The success of the SME Challenges demonstrates that they are providing real opportunities for SMEs to work collaboratively with clients to take their ideas from concepts through to the next stages of development and we look forward to watching them come to life.”

For more information on this and any previous challenges, contact robert@midlandsrail.co.uk.


For further information:

Elaine Clark – CEO


About the Rail Forum

The Rail Forum is a national industry body with strong regional connections including supporting the nationally and internationally important rail supply chain cluster across the Midlands; the Rail Forum has over 330 members providing products and services across all aspects of the industry. The Rail Forum actively supports the national rail agenda and strategy, encouraging collaboration, promoting members’ capabilities, leading a number of regional skills initiatives and supporting innovation and export priorities. The Rail Forum is owned and governed by its members with a Board drawn from member companies.


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