Following the opening of applications for the Clean Futures Accelerator, the Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation (BCIMO) has announced that it will be holding a series of Challenge Support Workshops to support rail SMEs interested in applying.
The project, which officially launched on 12 July, will remain open for applications until 10 September. Of the 20 winners selected to take part in Year 1 of the programme, SMEs that are focused on developing Clean Tech solutions for Rail will be supported by BCIMO, receiving a bespoke package of support to include access to its unique Rail Development and Test Site.
The workshops, which will be held on 22 and 23 August at the recently opened Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre in Dudley, will provide valuable support to SMEs considering making an application to join the 6-month programme, and who are already working in the rail supply chain or looking to move into it.
Each workshop will focus on one of the 5 accelerator challenge topics, identified as representing the most pressing needs within the rail and automotive manufacturing sectors at an industry workshop in June.
The workshops will be held as follows:
Date and Time: 22nd August 2023, 10:00 – 13:00
The first Clean Futures Accelerator workshop will be held for applicants who wish to gain a better understanding of the Greener EV Components and/or Circular Economy of Transport challenge topics and applications.
Date and Time: 23rd August 2023, 10:00 – 13:00
On the 23rd of August, the third workshop will tackle Challenge 4. This session is for applicants wishing to gain a better understanding of the Greener Transport Infrastructure Clean Futures Accelerator challenge topic and applications.
Date and Time: 23rd August 2023, 14:00 – 17:00
The final workshop in the series, taking place on the 23rd of August, will focus on Challenge 5. This session is for SMEs that wish to gain a better understanding of the Future Fuels challenge topic and applications.
By the end of each workshop attendees will have a comprehensive understanding of the specific challenge topic covered, the types of solutions the market is looking for and the testing and demonstration facilities offered by BCIMO, as well as how to complete the testing and demonstration section within the application form.
Discussing the announcement of the workshops, Naomi Arblaster, Head of SME Development at BCIMO, said:
“By attending these workshops, businesses will gain valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities within the rail sector. They can refine their ideas, collaborate with industry experts, and receive guidance on developing innovative solutions.
“The workshops are designed to foster a supportive and collaborative environment, enabling SMEs to connect with like-minded individuals and potential partners. Through interactive sessions, knowledge sharing, and feedback from industry leaders, participants can enhance their proposals and increase their chances of success in the Clean Futures Accelerator programme.”
Naomi added: “BCIMO’s commitment to driving innovation in rail manufacturing demonstrates the West Midlands’ leadership in transforming transportation towards a greener future. Don’t miss out on the chance to be part of this exciting initiative!”
The Clean Futures Accelerator is being led by Connected Places Catapult in collaboration with the Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation (BCIMO), Coventry University and CU Services Ltd. The programme forms part of the wider West Midlands Innovation Accelerator delivered in partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority, Innovate UK, UK Research and Innovation, and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.
For SMEs operating in the automotive sector, Coventry University will also be holding an open day to showcase their expertise at the Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering Institute (AME) and Centre for Advanced Low Carbon Propulsion Systems (C-ALPS).
To register to attend the workshops, visit BCIMO’s Contact page, making sure to specify the challenge topic you are registering for in the enquiry section.
The Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation (BCIMO) is a not-for-profit Research and Technology Organisation (RTO) and operator of the Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre (VLRNIC), a unique, world-class centre for rail innovation based in Dudley in the West Midlands.