A formal integration between Rail Alliance and the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education has been announced. The two organisations plan to work together as a way of taking a new approach to deal with railway challenges, bringing the industry and academia together as one.
The announcement was made in Birmingham next to the construction site of the HS2 Curzon Street Station by the Managing Director of BCRRE and Rail Alliance Alex Burrows. He made it clear that this now presents a significant opportunity for the rail industry as a whole. With the two organisations joining forces, it will pave the way for new and exciting opportunities for railway suppliers as well as academia to work together to create the railway of the future. This so-called new team would become a strong force that comes together to guarantee the delivery of the recently announced Rail Sector Deal.
Those members who make up the Rail Alliance will be encouraged to engage with the BCRRE specialists directly at the research centre located on the Edgbaston campus of the University of Birmingham. This will build on work already carried out by BCRRE to help SME’s to make ways into the international markets.
The Rail Alliance will no longer charge businesses to join but there is one requirement that they have to meet which is that they must have a real interest in growing their business within the rail industry while supporting it. It was noted that the Rail Alliance, operating as a larger team would enhance the way in which leading research and development and innovation is accessed as well as improve the opportunities that relate to engagement and collaboration. This has been considered to be an interesting offer that brings with it a huge number of opportunities for all areas of the rail supply industry.
This brings with it a real chance for the rail industry, as well as SMEs to bring together a team that consists of talent and world-leading capabilities that span a huge number of research areas while making use of industry expertise and knowledge.
The head of rail at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has stated that the Rail Alliance and BCRRE joining forces only serves to bolster the BEIS’ Industrial Strategy agenda. This assists with bringing together the innovative thinking of the SME community with the academic and scientific knowledge of BCRRE as well as the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network.