Research and development portfolio

How the Research and Development (R&D) Portfolio collaborates to innovate

Our R&D portfolio brings together R&D in one place and unlocks benefits across Network Rail. 

The most pressing outcome from the Portfolio is to make the cost of running the railway more affordable. Enabling us to deliver the scale of renewals and maintenance required to support safe and reliable train services without the need to increase spending. 

We are investing £245m of Network Rail funding, together with third-party funding, to de-risk technologies, explore new ideas, products and services to benefit passengers and freight users. We estimate our current portfolio will return around £3 for every £1 spent. Our portfolio is delivered through collaboration and partnerships. We succeed through others.

Delivering through partnerships

We have delivery partnerships with leading rail research universities. These institutions are part of the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN) partnership between suppliers and universities. By accessing shared opportunities, we are able to drive high value manufacturing capability through the manufacturing technology centre. Managing our challenge-led competitions in partnership with Innovate UK. We have many partnerships that support our projects and programmes under the R&D Portfolio. 

Collaborating internationally

We collaborate internationally on delivery as one of 8 founding members for the Shift2Rail programme and through partnerships under membership groups including the International Union of Railways.   

Getting technology on to the railway

Our R&D Portfolio is linked to delivery programmes such as intelligent infrastructure that offers routes for new products and services to be brought into use. The R&D Portfolio is reflected in regional plans to help improve outcomes including safety, efficiencies and benefits to customers.

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