Innovation in Rail

Date(s) - July 2 2024
9:30am - 2:30pm

The Enterprise Centre, Derby

Innovation doesn’t just happen but great ideas do!  So, what do you do when you have a great idea and you want to get it into rail?

That is often the million-dollar question and we are delighted to be collaborating with University of Derby to provide a half day workshop that will help you understand just how to take that great idea and map it’s journey on to a train, into a station, trackside or into a depot (or indeed anywhere in between).

We have a range of great speakers to help you do just that, including:

  • East West Rail, innovating in a major rail project
  • Unipart Rail, innovation in the supply chain
  • *LNER, innovation into a train operator* (Newly announced)
  • InnovateUK, guidance and support for innovation
  • University of Derby on innovations in Rail Freight Transport and innovating for an aging workforce
  • Swindell & Pearson on protecting your IP
  • Shoosmiths on commercial application of IP
  • Fishbone Solutions on how they have introduced innovation into the rail sector
  • And more rail speakers to be announced!

This workshop is being supporting by University of Derby, with Derby City Council, East Midlands Chamber and Marketing Derby.  You can find more information about the wider support provision below.

We are delighted to be working with Rail Forum UK on this Innovation in Rail workshop which will enable local companies and Rail Forum members to hear from a range of speakers about their innovation experiences across projects, operations, infrastructure and supply chains, including their adopted approaches, resulting impact and how they accessed support.” – Jennifer Clementson, Senior Manager

“Such events and the opportunity to think about the collaborative projects that could come next has been made possible through the investment of UK Shared Prosperity Fund, made available to the University of Derby from Derby City Council.” – Amanda Baxendale, Head of Research and Innovation Services


Who should attend?

This workshop is ideal for any organisation that is looking to introduce innovation into the railway.



This workshop is free to attend for:

  1. Rail Forum members*
  2. Any Derby City based businesses (please indicate if you a Derby based business by clicking Y/N on registration form)

Places limited to 1 per company.

(*we will prioritise places for SME members)

**By completing this registration, you give permission for Rail Forum to share your booking details University of Derby.**

Bookings will close on 20th June and joining instructions including delegate list will be issued on 24th June.


About the support programme

Until March 2025, The University of Derby will be working alongside Derby City Council, East Midlands Chamber and Marketing Derby, to provide organisations in the Derby City boundaries access to fully funded workshops, funded innovation support, capital grants, and access to angel and investor networks.

The workshops available, cover a wide range of Decarbonisation, Innovation, Sector Led and Business topics. This support is available to organisations, and individuals looking to establish an organisation, in the Derby City region (registered, trading, or anticipated address to be in the Derby City Council postcode region).

The Derby Innovation Accelerator will provide:

  • Innovation Workshops – to support companies to achieve innovation-led growth through research and development
  • Challenge-led Workshops – for launching challenges and drawing together potential collaborators.  The challenges will focus on strengthening the identified key sectors for Derby whilst inspiring innovation
  • Decarbonisation Workshops – to support companies who are seeking to grow sustainably and respond to opportunities in the low carbon and circular economies
  • Innovation Vouchers – to support access to University of Derby innovation assets, facilities, knowledge and expertise
  • Capital Grants – to stimulate private sector investment in capital assets that support research and development
  • Access to Angel and Investor Networks – to support, coach and facilitate companies to understand, prepare and secure ‘Angel Investment’


The Derby Innovation Accelerator will provide innovation support to:

  • Companies within Derby city only
  • Established businesses and third sector organisations with high growth potential
  • Pre-start and newly founded organisations with high growth potential
Sorry, bookings for this event are closed.
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