HS2 Ltd has opened up its third cohort of its Innovation Accelerator programme to SMEs to help it reduce carbon emissions and improve health and safety, and security.
The programme, run with Connected Places Catapult and Bruntwood SciTech, is looking for five small firms or start-ups that can come up with new ways of reducing HS2’s carbon footprint, and boost H&S and security.
They will be asked to focus on using data and digital technologies to improve efficiencies in material use, and energy and fuel, as well as managing construction sites to reduce CO2.
HS2 is also looking for entrants who can help develop ideas on using digital technology to boost H&S on major infrastructure projects, and strengthen security to protect construction site plant and machinery.
Innovation manager Rob Cairns said: “Innovation has a crucial role to play in cutting energy consumption and carbon emissions on HS2, so we’re looking for creative and fresh thinking on how to achieve this.
“The safety and security of our construction sites is of paramount importance to us. Harnessing the power of digital technology has the potential to play a key role in helping HS2 to continually drive up safety and security standards.
“We’re utilising HS2’s scale and longevity to create an environment where innovation can flourish, the benefits of which will be felt both by this project and provide a legacy of progress for the industry.”
Since the scheme was launched last year, two cohorts of five SMEs have gone through the four-month programme, which is based at Bruntwood SciTech's Innovation Birmingham campus. HS2 said the “majority” have successfully delivered proof of concepts.
Cairns added: “By establishing themselves as suppliers of innovative technological solutions to HS2’s large supply chain, the SMEs are creating commercial links across construction industries both here and abroad, which potentially unlocks a virtuous circle of innovation and growth.”
Top image: Solar panels are used to power generators at the site of Curzon Street station in Birmingham (Image: HS2)