The East Midlands is ripe for rail innovation with companies such as Bombardier, Network Rail, East Midlands Trains and Bridgeway Consulting along with others in its midst; not to mention the development of the East Midlands Gateway near East Midlands Airport and its new rail freight terminal – which is less that 10 minutes from TBAT’s front door!

Funding for innovation in rail is crucial to the growth and advancements in the field. Most are aware of the huge scale projects such as HS2, Crossrail and the Great Northern Rail Project; however, there are also funding schemes available to contribute towards the smart and sustainable growth in the railway sector, large or small!

There are a range of funding options available; grants, loans and equity finance, some examples are given below:

The Midlands Investment Fund – a fund of £250m MEIF provides over £250m of investment to boost small and medium business (SME) growth in the Midlands; numerous funding options available:

  • Proof-of-Concept: Early stage equity finance up to £750k
  • Equity Finance: Later stage equity funding up to £2m
  • Debt Finance: Business loans from £100k – £1.5m
  • Small Business Loans: £25k – £150k

Innovate UK March 2018 – Open – grant funding available for UK businesses of any size to be awarded a share of £15m for game-changing innovations with strong commercial potential that will significantly impact the UK Economy. SMEs can apply for 70% grant funding on projects up to £1m in total cost.

Shift2Rail  projects worth €155.3m will be financed under the 2018 Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking (S2R JU) call for Railway Research & Innovation via Horizon 2020. Specific calls cover various rail challenge topics and themes. Projects are typically collaborative and range in value according to the nature of the challenge to be addressed.

Invest to Growa programme designed to support private sector businesses in the East Midlands to grow and create jobs through grants or loans. Grants or loans – according to the needs of the business – are available for up to 30% of the cost of investment to help create long term sustainable job growth.

These schemes along with many others are why the East Midlands and the UK in general is such a hub for innovation!

To read more about other grant funding competitions – visit TBAT’s Grant Funding Calls page here!

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