The Innovation Hub is a 5 year commitment from Porterbrook to host the best innovations on board a repurposed class 319. A competition was open to SME’s to showcase what they can offer the industry. KeTech was delighted to be awarded a place in the first year of this incredible initiative which afforded a unique opportunity to display leading capabilities alongside likeminded industry trailblazers.
KeTech chose to display its unique Universal Information System (UIS®); an intelligent, centrally managed system for dynamically combining on-train, Passenger Information Systems (PIS) with wayside, Customer Information Systems (CIS) and operational systems. KeTech’s UIS® received an incredible amount of attention from visitors across the industry, many of whom were unaware that it was possible to achieve such cross-platform consistency of information and communication. KeTech also displayed an example of its prototype for mobile PIS – an app free innovation.
Rail Live was not only a brilliant chance to display, in a real train environment, KeTech’s UIS® and dispel any notions that on-train and way-side systems can’t be integrated, but it was also a carefully curated setting for SME’s to learn more about other innovators. The exhibition carriages provided an environment for companies to establish relationships and discuss possible cross-overs, collaborations and common goals. KeTech has a reputation for fostering an open dialogue with customers and industry contemporaries, so the very nature of the Innovation Hub was a great fit.
KeTech found that the Innovation Hub arrangement created and environment for a number of conversations with key stake holders across all sectors of the industry; including train operators, train builders, and consultants about the possibility of integrating more sources of data. The seamless integration of data is vital to the improvement of rail services and something KeTech has a keen focus on. From passenger counting to remote condition-monitoring systems, increased data can add context and value for passengers and operators alike.
One key aspect of the Innovation Hub which made it stand out from other exhibition platforms was the decision to keep it open for 6 months. All innovations are available to view, with an appointment, until the end of 2019. There aren’t any other exhibitions offering this extended demonstration period which once again, confirms Porterbrook’s commitment to supporting SMEs and opening the door to technological advancements within the rail industry.
Porterbrook’s Innovation Hub supports the key message delivered by Andrew Haines, CEO of Network Rail, who made clear his vision for changing the mindset of Network Rail and the rail industry as a whole. The focus, he said, is to simplify the engagement process for SMEs and make it easier to engage earlier in the process to ensure the best possible quality for the end users; rail passengers. Acknowledging that SMEs often face unfair challenges when bringing their solutions to market, Haines hopes that the “Open for Business” initiative will remove some of the red tape and nurture a more collaborative environment for all.
KeTech would like to extend a huge “Thank You” to the Porterbrook team who spearheaded the Innovation Hub initiative and of course to everyone who visited the exhibition.
For more information on KeTech’s Universal Information System (UIS®) or to attend the September viewing on the Innovation Hub, contact the team today.