The Digital Catapult, the UK’s leading advanced digital technology innovation centre, is linking up with HS2, builder of Britain’s new high-speed railway, to identify and secure the potential offered by emerging technologies such as 5G and machine learning.
Under a three-year framework agreement, HS2 will draw on Digital Catapult’s expertise to assess the feasibility of using advanced digital technologies to manage assets during the construction of the railway, to help predict maintenance requirements during its operation, and create a long lasting innovation legacy for the project.
Starting in May, the partnership’s first project will explore how 5G wireless technology could help monitor HS2 infrastructure such as bridges and tunnels. By replacing equipment that needs cables for connections, it could potentially enable flexible, easy and fast deployment of monitoring systems anywhere along the route.
Andrew Pestana, HS2’s innovation manager, said: ““The boundaries of what digital systems could deliver for HS2 are likely to be far reaching.
“Linking with Digital Catapult will ensure that HS2’s innovation programme is plugged into this dynamic and exciting environment to harness digital opportunities for designing, building and running Britain’s new high speed rail network.”
Dr David Pugh of Digital Catapult responded: “Innovation, with cutting edge, emerging technologies like 5G and artificial intelligence, are set to play an increasingly large role in the success of significant national infrastructure projects like HS2.
“We’re looking forward to working with HS2 to explore how these technologies can create a long-term innovation legacy and impact.”
Digital Catapult provides physical and digital facilities for experimentation and testing that would otherwise not be accessible for smaller companies.
It connects large established companies, start-up and scale-up businesses and researchers to discover new ways to solve big challenges in the manufacturing and creative industries. Through this collaboration businesses are supported to develop the right technologies to solve problems, increase productivity and open up new markets faster.