HS2 launches Part Two of Innovation Accelerator recruitment programme

Photo shows: HS2 Ltd CEO Mark Thurston visits the construction activity at the Old Oak Common site, using the augmented reality headset
HS2 OOC augmented reality table

HS2 Ltd has launched the second tranche of recruitment to its Innovation Accelerator programme, following the overwhelming response to its first call out to tech start-ups and innovative SMEs earlier this year.

The company behind Britain’s largest-ever transport infrastructure project is looking to recruit five more small firms with bright ideas on how people can best spend time at stations before their train goes; and how to optimise digital solutions for building HS2 to make every second count.

The winning five entrants will join the first cohort, chosen from 109 applications from the first recruitment programme, who will work on the challenges of: productivity; environment; and the circular economy.

Ideas include 3D concrete printing and using automated drone technology to assist with the planting of seven million trees along the HS2 route.

An online application portal will be open for one month, after which time HS2 Ltd will choose five of the companies entered to take forward on the Innovation Accelerator. The Accelerator will provide commercial and technical support and rent-free Birmingham-based working space to develop their proposal.

After six months, solutions will be showcased and pitched to industry investors and HS2’s supply chain, which is made up of the thousands of suppliers.

HS2 Ltd Head of Innovation, Howard Mitchell said:“We received over 100 applications from innovative tech start-ups and SMEs to join Cohort One of HS2’s Innovation Accelerator programme, which beat all our expectations.

“The level of interest underlines the opportunity that HS2 offers to some of the most innovative and dynamic young firms in the country.

“I’m therefore extremely positive about the prospects for Cohort Two, and new thinking on how we build Britain’s new high speed rail network, and enable passengers to make best use of their time in our stations. “

The Portal closes to applications on 18 September. HS2 will announce the successful enterprises in the autumn.