We are now accepting applications to HS2's Innovation Accelerator. Applications close 18th September. To find out more, attend our webinar on 10th September, details to follow.


For all the latest info, follow @HS2, @CPCatapult and @BW_SciTech.

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

  • Round tables and talks with 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

Eligibility Criteria

  •  Applicants must be SME sized businesses (Less than 250 employees & turnover under £50 million)

  •  Applicants must have a UK registered company address 

  •  Proposed solutions must include a digital development

  •  Proposed solutions must address at least one of the live challenges

  •  Each application must propose one solution

  •  Applicants can apply more than once if they have more than one solution to offer

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.

The way we work


1. We want to reduce or remove paper-based activities and                automate and optimise processes as efficiently as possible.

2. We want to develop and explore solutions that can
    consolidate business process to achieve a step change in                efficiency.


3. We want to explore technology that can replace manual ways        of working and activities that are historically labour intensive          or inefficient.


Stations Experience

1. We want to put the customer in control of their time to
    deliver a great stations experience.


2. We want to maximise commercial value from the
    customers station experience.


3. We want to ensure our stations are accessible for all. Here we          are particularly interested in solutions for supporting blind and        partially sighted and neuro-diverse customers around our                  stations.

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