The TSC and Alstom launch the Rail Grand Challenge for UK SMEs

The “Rail Grand Challenge” for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) has been launched today to generate and develop new innovations for the rail industry. Alstom will work with Transport Systems Catapult (TSC), the UK’s innovation centre for Intelligent Mobility, to deliver the competition.

A prize of up to £50,000 is available to help an SME develop the winning idea.  The winner will also have the opportunity to work with Alstom to see their concept realised on the railway network. 

Alstom is well known for its innovative approach, ranging from very high speed rail all the way through to developing new predictive maintenance technology in the UK. Alstom wishes to increase engagement with UK SMEs in the face of more than £90 billion of investment planned in UK rail over the coming decade. This includes upgrades to the mainline rail network and London Underground deep tube lines, as well as the building of the HS2 line.

Alstom Innovation Manager Ouahcene Ourahmoune commented:

“UK SMEs have a world-class record of innovation and generating solutions to some of the biggest challenges in science, technology and engineering. The Rail Grand Challenge Competition reflects our desire to work even closer with these businesses. Alstom is already pursuing exciting new ideas in this area, but together we believe we can achieve so much more. I am excited to see the innovative entries we receive for the competition and look forward to working with the winners.”

TSC Rail Business Director Richard Jones commented

“We’re extremely excited to be working with Alstom on this competition which we think reflects some of the excellent work being undertaken by SMEs in the UK transport industry. The Rail Grand Challenge is an excellent opportunity for an up-and-coming business to work with one of the biggest names in the rail industry. With the support of Alstom we are hopeful that the winning entry will lead to big things for the company involved.”

The competition opens today, and entries close on the 30th of May.  Further information can be found on the Transport Systems Catapult website at:

Cookies on Catapult explained

To comply with EU directives we now provide detailed information about the cookies we use. To find out more about cookies on this site, what they do and how to remove them, see our information about cookies. Click OK to continue using this site.