Invest in GREAT and the Department for International Trade (DIT) Showcase UK Rail for International Investors, with a Ministerial Breakfast Seminar at InnoTrans 2018, Berlin
InnoTrans is the world’s leading trade fair for transport technology, and this year the twelfth biannual InnoTrans took place in the Berlin on 18 – 21 September 2018.
The Midlands Engine and Northern Powerhouse exhibited together as Invest in GREAT, meeting with potential overseas investors looking to find out more about opportunities in the UK rail industry; the most buoyant and fastest growing in Europe in terms of existing and planned investment.
A number of events were planned as part of the UK showcase at InnoTrans, the highlight being a Ministerial Breakfast Seminar on the 19th September focussed on UK Rail Innovation, co-hosted by Midlands Engine, Northern Powerhouse and the Department for International Trade. The British Secretary of State for Transport, The Rt. Hon Chris Grayling, delivered the opening remarks at the British Embassy, Berlin, to a number of international companies with either a footprint in the UK or were interested in establishing a UK footprint.
The exclusive event was opened by HMA Sir Sebastian Wood and saw 150 senior business leaders from across the globe come together to hear about the opportunities in UK Rail. The UK Rail Network is the fastest-growing in Europe, passenger growth is currently at 9% a year, and Passenger kilometres are set to double over the next 30 years to a figure of over 6bn kilometres per year. Demand has never been higher!
The Secretary of State for Transport used his keynote speech to explore the upcoming opportunities within the UK, finishing with a strong message that ‘the UK is definitely open for business’.
Other speakers included Stuart Calvert, Director, Group Digital Railway at Network Rail and Michael Noakes, Head of Rail/Infrastructure, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, discussing the forthcoming UK Industrial Strategy and how many companies in the sector have already been able to use this transformation to succeed.
This gave way to a panel discussion on innovation in the UK Rail sector. Alex Burrows, Managing Director, Birmingham Centre for Railway and Research Education, University of Birmingham talked about the new UKRRIN network, which brings together a number of universities focused on Rolling Stock, Infrastructure and Digital Technologies, and the university’s strength in rail applications of hydrogen powertrain.
Professor Peter Woodward, Chair in High Speed Rail Engineering, Institute for High Speed Rail Engineering, University of Leeds, highlighted the strengths the university has in rail engineering technology.
Neil Bates, Design Director, Vivarail showcased the D-Train light rail solution, and its ability to run on battery and hybrid power and confirmed the delivery of their first of three trains to London Northwestern Railway.
After the keynotes, a networking reception took place, where representatives from the Department for International Trade were on hand to explain how the UK Government can help overseas businesses grow in the UK and support UK based businesses to export.
Overall the UK is investing more than £200bn in rail projects across the country in the coming years. With so much investment planned in the railways, and a skilled workforce and innovative supply chain, the UK has never before presented such a compelling investment opportunity.
Wendy Richards, Deputy Head of Transport Infrastructure at the Department for International Trade said:
“It was a pleasure to see so many senior representatives from the Global Rail Industry attend this event at the British Embassy in Berlin. The event was well-received, and successful in its aim of pointing out the significant investment going into the UK Rail Network and how overseas companies can find commercial opportunities in areas such as digitalisation, decarbonisation and high speed rail.”
For further information and support to bring your business to the UK please contact [email protected]