Benchmarking and site logistics next on HS2’s innovation search

Benchmarking, daily reporting and site logistics are among the areas targeted by the next tranche of HS2’s Innovation Accelerator programme.

Five businesses have been selected from 118 applicants, of which three are focused on construction.

Hypervine’s app-based technology enables construction contractors to become more agile by quantifying – via a single dashboard – work across site activities and to compare actual performance against planned work, and identify where efficiencies can be made, generating both cost and carbon savings.  

Rail Diary creates digital site diaries and reporting software tailored to the rail construction industry. Site diaries are traditionally a very manually intensive process for those working on construction sites. The Rail Diary platform enables teams to complete daily reports throughout a shift, including photos and videos, then turns those reports into real-time actionable insights and comparative data.. By removing the communication lag between site and office, Rail Diary provides front-line staff with the tools they need to deliver projects more effectively.

And Grid Smarter Cities technology could help HS2, its contractors and site personnel to better manage commercial freight movements and activities, especially in congested urban areas where efficient network and kerb space management is critical. 

The other two selected businesses are: Digital Rail with its RailSightAssist, an app-based solution that detects wheelchairs, bicycles, pushchairs, heavy luggage, partially sighted or blind passengers when they arrive and alerts station staff to provide assistance; and Open Space, whose technology can help better understand potential people flow in and around HS2’s stations.

All five busiensses will receive commercial and technical support, plus rent-free working space, as they develop their technology to help deliver Europe’s largest infrastructure project. They start their HS2 development work this month, and will continue to work through to March 2021.  

After four months of development inside the Accelerator, the firms’ solutions will be showcased and pitched to industry investors and HS2’s supply chain.  

HS2 Ltd innovation manager Rob Cairns said: "We are drawing on the very best of British innovation and skills to ensure the UK’s investment in HS2 not only delivers an outstanding high speed rail network, but also builds a sound economic legacy that generates prosperity after the railway’s construction is complete.  

"HS2 is already providing thousands of contract opportunities for businesses around Britain, creating thousands of jobs. These five firms are at the forefront of the innovative ideas, and we look forward to working with them to realise their ambitions."  

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