HS2 will be a world class 21st century railway service, embracing
new technologies to ensure world class levels of reliability,
comfort and customer experience.

To deliver this we will drive innovation in the design and build, employing new technologies and techniques to improve productivity, innovating to do more with less and create fewer emissions and noise. We will build a legacy of knowledge, expertise and new commercial opportunities for the UK as we develop HS2.

Innovate@HS2, HS2’s accelerator programme in collaboration with Connected Places Catapult and Innovation Birmingham will help us to achieve this vision, by inducting two cohorts of five small companies per year. We will work with you to develop new innovative digital products and services for HS2 that can help leave a legacy of new ways of working and best practice.

What's on offer to SMEs

• Four months tailored business support

• Access to office space at Bruntwood SciTech Innovation Birmingham campus (dependent on            COVID-19, if not support will be virtual)
• Tailored investment readiness programme, with support from experienced investment coaches
• Roundtables and talks angels and VCs, introductions to investors, and pitch coaching
• Funding advice from Connected Places Catapult experts, including CR&D and grant opportunities
• Technical support and sprints, access to Connected Places Catapult and HS2 technical experts
• Support from an Entrepreneur in Residence, and wider Bruntwood SciTech support                            networks /business activities
• Business development opportunities and introductions to potential customers
• Growth focus – business support, e.g. IP, marketing, HR, partnerships
• Demo Day showcase event

Accelerator goals

• Bespoke business support to 10 strong SME candidates 

• Support SMEs to secure investment and produce investment strategies 

• Focus on facilitating discussions that lead to commercial contracts, both UK and international 

• Support collaborative R&D – where appropriate / applicable 

• Two agile sprints and technical focused sessions to develop technologies and meet challenge                           requirements 

• Support the implementation of potential trials with HS2 and HS2 partners 

• Support development of FTEs

We want to hear from start-ups and small businesses who can meet our challenges. 

We will provide guidance, support and insight to develop your innovative idea or product and develop your company to be fit for HS2 supply chain.

Circular Economy


1. How can we minimise the amount of virgin material  used      within the wider supply chain to build HS2?

2. How can we maximise the re-use potential of                              materials within the project?


3. How can we assess and maximise the value upon 

    disposal of materials (virgin or otherwise) that can no                longer be re-used on HS2?


Green Corridor

1. How can we monitor and improve the health of the trees we            plant, minimising loss and increasing success of planting?


2. How can we predict, measure and positively manage the health        and sustainability of landscapes and habitats within the trace of      HS2’s route?


3. How can we leverage landscape changes to maximise benefits,        including carbon sequestration and enhance economic and              social impacts?



1. How can we make every minute on site count?

2. How can we leverage digital solutions to improve our productivity?

3. How do we design elements of HS2 for more efficient delivery and            replication?

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