University opens doors to its D2N2-backed Rail Research and Innovation Centre

26 June 2019

A £1.4m innovation centre at the University of Derby has been unveiled to the rail industry.

The University of Derby’s Rail Research and Innovation Centre (RRIC), at Lonsdale House, opened its doors to representatives of the UK’s rail supply chain industry at the showcase event on Tuesday (25 June).

The centre was developed thanks to a £902,600 grant from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund.

The funding has allowed for the purchase of three technology ‘demonstrators’ to help improve innovation and productivity within the rail industry around:

It is hoped that the RRIC will enhance the skills of 80 or more rail sector employees, while also supporting around 80 supply chain businesses, 15 new collaborative research projects and shepherding 20 companies through innovation funding applications, by 2022.

Professor Warren Manning, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the University of Derby’s College of Engineering and Technology, said: “We are grateful to D2N2’s Local Growth Fund for the support it has given the University of Derby to develop this superb facility.

“The Rail Research and Innovation Centre will provide expertise and technology with the capacity to transform the development of rail transport, allowing organisations to get the best value out of data and find better ways of decarbonising the railways.

“Secondly, it will provide opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises in the rail supply chain and associated industries to collaborate with us in innovative and exciting ways. This will help to put them at the cutting edge of the industry, unlocking opportunities for them not just regionally and nationally, but potentially across the world too.”

Tom Goshawk, D2N2 LEP Capital Projects Manager said of the opening: “The Rail Research and Innovation Centre project has provided an excellent opportunity for D2N2 LEP to invest in the important rail industry in Derby.

“Transport Equipment Manufacturing is a sector of great importance to the D2N2 area and this investment enables greater efficiencies and enhances the inward investment offer to rail supply chain businesses in the region."

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