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A panel of experts at Network Rail were recently joined by EIC energy industry partners, to view a series of digital presentations by a shortlist of expert innovators from the EIC’s global innovation community.


The EIC had previously launched a Call for Innovation relating to Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) systems, which was commissioned under Network Rail’s R&D Portfolio - its £245M investment programme over 5 years to drive improvements to the safety, performance and efficiency of Britain’s railway infrastructure.


The call delivered a total of eleven proposals, of which six were taken forward to two EIC presentation days. During the digital presentation days, the solutions by the shortlisted innovators were explored in more detail; all of which looked at further improving the reliability of Network Rail’s electrical infrastructure.


Alongside Network Rail, EIC energy industry partners Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, SP Energy Networks, UK Power Networks, National Grid Gas Transmission & National Grid Electricity Transmission also joined the panel as the topic of UPS monitoring is highly relevant to energy utilities.  In addition to several of the solutions being of interest, one major outcome was the resulting potential for cross-sector collaboration in this area. 


Felix Langley, Professional Head of Power Distribution (HV/LV) at Network Rail, said:


“Network Rail found the event a very useful way to understand the innovations that can help us meet our objective of building a railway that is even safer, more reliable and more sustainable. We also appreciated the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the suppliers as well as EIC’s partners in related industries, which provides us with excellent opportunities for future collaboration.”


In light of current restrictions due to COVID 19, the presentation days were hosted via a virtual video conferencing platform, allowing innovators from across the country to join the day safely and remotely, along with the representatives from the rail and energy industries. 


This project in the field of uninterrupted power supply monitoring between Network Rail and the EIC started in December 2019, and will run until June 2020. 


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Achieving net zero targets is one of the biggest challenges facing the energy and utilities industry, but by innovating together we can drive change and deliver a decarbonised future. Our industry partners are always looking for innovative new solutions to the challenges they face, including net zero, which is why we provide a platform where innovators like you can respond to the latest innovation opportunities and challenges, and submit your innovative ideas. Our expert team have an extensive knowledge base, allowing us to consistently help our partners to address challenges, and to support our innovation community. This enables innovators and industry to come together and build a strong innovation culture and streamline innovation processes.