The Government is providing crucial funding enabling the University of Huddersfield's Centre for Innovation in Rail (CIR) to go ahead. This £4 million Regional Growth Fund grant will be matched by the project partners. The overall investment in the project is over £20 million.
Partnering with industry
The CIR will be based within the internationally-renowned Institute of Railway Research (IRR) at the University and will build on the Institute's strategic partnership with RSSB, with the support of the National Skills Academy for Rail Engineering (NSARE) and technology partners, Unipart Rail and Omnicom Engineering.
IRR Director, Professor Simon Iwnicki, expects the CIR to capitalise on the best of the Institute's research output and embed this within the UK railway industry.
"The research and training carried out by the Centre will contribute to the strategic needs of the railway industry as outlined in the Rail Technical Strategy and will increase the level of innovation in the industry and reduce the barriers to knowledge transfer and reduce industry costs,"
Providing world class training and services
The new facility will build upon the world-class product design and R&D capability of the project partners, to provide industry and academia with training, research and expert services to develop and improve critical engineering interfaces in the rail industry. The IRR's Assistant Director and CIR project manager Dr Paul Allen explained that the Centre will have a dedicated team comprising academics, researchers, business development staff and administrators.
"This will include all aspects of vehicle design and track construction to increase safety and reliability, reduce asset costs and drive performance improvement of the railway system. Priority will be given to assisting regional SMEs to develop competitive products and services that can be brokered into the railway supply chain, and result in new job creation and up-skilling of the workforce,"