Applications now closed for Cohort 3  of the HS2 Accelerator.   click here to apply

Key Dates

15 June

Information Webinar

07 July

Application Deadline

12 July

Shortlist Selection

16 July

Technical Due Diligence

19 July

Commercial Due Diligence

20 July

Cohort Selection

04 August

Welcome Week


What is the HS2 Accelerator Programme?

The HS2 Accelerator Programme is a partnership between HS2 Ltd, Connected Places Catapult, and Bruntwood SciTech.

HS2 is a new high speed railway linking London, the Midlands, the North and Scotland - serving over 25 stations, including eight of Britain’s largest cities and connecting around 30 million people.

HS2 want to create a legacy of knowledge, expertise and opportunities by driving innovation throughout the design and build of the railway, harnessing new technologies to improve productivity and reduce waste, noise and emissions.

We are committed to creating new opportunities and driving growth outside of London, which is why Connected Places Catapult have partnered up with Bruntwood SciTech to provide an incubation and co-working space for the programme in Birmingham’s knowledge quarter at Innovation Birmingham Campus.

The HS2 Accelerator will be inducting two cohorts of 5 companies per year, working together over 4 months to commercialise innovative digital products and services for HS2 and building a legacy of new ways of working and best practice in the industry.

"This fantastic initiative allows some of Britain’s brightest SMEs and opportunity to help innovate the HS2 project and wider industry. Those who join the Accelerator have an opportunity to leave a footprint on HS2 and challenge us to improve how we do things. In order to continually develop and evolve, we need to embrace these great ideas to deliver HS2 cleaner, smarter and faster.”  

Mark Thurston, CEO HS2.

Am I eligible for this programme?

  • You must   be an SME
  • You must   have a UK registered company*
  • You must   have an innovative digital or data solution at TRL 6 - 8
  • You must   be able to address the challenge statements with your technology

*or you will set-up a UK registered company if you are selected for the programme.

What's on offer to SMEs

Coaching and Mentoring

Including pitch coaching, business support and VC support

Solution Showcase

Demonstration Day to investors, industry and customers

Investment Readiness

Tailored investment readiness programme, with support from investment coaches

Growth Focus

4 months tailored business support

Funding Advice

including CR&D and grant opportunities

Technical Support

Technical support and sprints and access to technical experts

Office Space

Access to office space at Innovation Birmingham Campus (subject to Covid-19)

Business Development

Business development opportunities and introduction to potential customers

Accelerator goals

  • Bespoke business support to 5 disruptive SMEs
  • Support SMEs to secure investment and produce investment strategies
  • Focus on facilitating discussions that lead to commercial contracts, both UK and international
  • Support collaborative R&D - where appropriate/applicable
  • Two agile sprints and technical focused sessions to develop technologies and meet challenge requirements
  • Support the implementation of potential trials with HS2 and HS2 partners
  • Support development of FTEs

Challenge 1 - Net Zero

How can we utilise data or digital technologies to decarbonise our operations:

  1. Materials used within construction including digital solutions for:
    • Accurately forecasting and scheduling the delivery of construction materials for use on site
    • Increasing the reuse and recycling of materials used within the construction process
    • Reducing the environmental impact associated with materials used within the construction process
  2. Digitising onsite construction operations, including digital solutions for:
    • Planning and tracking the movement and management of construction vehicles both on and off site
    • Identifying and tracking waste and waste management through the construction process
    • Scheduling of onsite construction activities with a focus on efficiency and waste reduction
  3. Energy and Fuel, including digital solutions for:
    • Forecasting energy consumption requirements at new and existing constructions sites with a focus on sourcing green/ renewable energy (including real-time energy and fuel reporting)
    • Optimising construction and site processes to reduce the overall fuel and energy requirements

Challenge 2 - Safety & Security

How can we use data and digital technologies to predict and/or mitigate:

  1. On-site risks and hazards – including digital solutions for:
    • Behavioural analysis, identifying potential risks and/ or hazards in real-time and mitigating these before they occur on site
    • Keeping workers safe through reducing exposure to fixed hazards such as excavation collapses and working at height
  2. Unauthorised access access to HS2 sites, including digital solutions for:
    • Identifying and alerting when unauthorised access has been gained to sites, including innovations to predict and prevent these instances
    • Identifying and alerting when workers enter excluded or restricted zones that they are not cleared to be in


If you have any question about the programme, please reach out to the team below:

Emma Marshall

Programme Lead Connected Places Catapult

Jasmine Pollock

Programme Manager
Connected Places Catapult


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