On site engineer discussing with academics in a meeting room

HS2 signs landmark UK universities research agreement

Enabling it access to world-leading research capabilities, knowledge and facilities, HS2 Ltd have signed a ground-breaking agreement with leading infrastructure research centres in UK universities.

Signing the agreement with the UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC), HS2 will now be able to draw on the skills and expertise of UK academia more easily.

The closer inclusion of British academic excellence into HS2’s innovation programme will help drive new insight and technologies across the broad range of disciplines involved in building affordable, low carbon modern infrastructure.

Co-ordinated by Loughborough University and the University of Southampton, the agreement will enable HS2 Ltd to commission research from across the whole of UKCRIC, as it delivers the UK’s new high speed rail network.

It will also provide a channel for the 15 academic institutions involved to put forward any research findings which could be employed on the project.

Andrew Pestana, Innovation Strategy Manager at HS2, said: “HS2 is a major opportunity for Britain’s university and business sectors to collaborate at the leading edge of innovation to meet the challenge of delivering Britain’s new high speed rail network.

“The project’s size and 20-year delivery programme provides the perfect environment in which to develop solutions for High Speed 2 and the wider rail industry – both of which are crucial in helping Britain’s transport network to decarbonise.”

The agreement will first look to identify key areas for collaboration on low carbon concrete, such as alternative reinforcement methods, reducing embedded carbon in production, and re-use of materials.

Sergio Cavalaro, Skills Lead for UKCRIC, added: “With this agreement, we will promote collaborations between HS2 and UKCRIC partners aimed at answering the myriad of challenges that must be addressed in the project.

“This ambitious and comprehensive endeavour acknowledges the complementary roles of research and training in providing the know-how to address such challenges, while developing the research-minded experts and embedding the skills that will enable continued progress in and beyond HS2.”

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