Advancing technology and business process in the railway supply chain

The Centre for Innovation in Rail (CIR) has been built upon the world‐class research and development capabilities of the University of Huddersfield’s Institute of Railway Research (IRR) to support the supply chain in bringing new technologies to the rail sector. 

Centre for Innovation in Rail The Institute of Railway Research’s Centre for Innovation in Rail

The CIR works together with its key industry partners: Unipart Rail, Omincom Engineering, RSSB and  NSAR, and in collaboration with Huddersfield Business School we are forming new relations with innovative SMEs and other solutions providers to offer specialist technology and business services, funding opportunities and routes to market for developed concepts. We provide access to highly experienced academic rail specialists and advanced testing facilities to help our partners realise the full potential of services or products and successfully deliver these to the rail market.

Focussing on new technologies, processes and product development, the CIR is supported by a large team of multi-disciplinary research staff. These experienced researchers have core skills in railway engineering, data analytics and safety science, with wider disciplines including mathematics, computer science, civil engineering and physics.

We have recently invested over £4M in advanced testing facilities and when combined with our engineering, innovation and funding knowledge the CIR can offer the following technology support services:

  • Conceptualisation and product development
  • Computer simulation and data analytics
  • Access to advanced test facilities
  • Funding advice and consortium building
  • Knowledge sharing and transfer partnerships
  • Route to market support

In addition to its technical and funding support for innovation, the school will provide expertise in operational, service and innovation management, business case development and wider disciplines including marketing, and supply chain management. The aim is to assist organisations to build their own capacity and capability in these areas through strategically targeted projects with a focus on knowledge transfer. This allows the CIR to also offer the following business support services:

  • Innovation management
  • Business case development/whole life costing
  • Service and supply chain management
  • Marketing
  • Forecasting and operations simulation
  • Conceptualisation and Service Development

The Centre for Innovation in Rail provides its potential clients with a unique opportunity to work with highly skilled and experienced research staff and rail professionals, combined with access to world-class test facilitates, funding opportunities and commercial partners. For more information contact Dr Paul Allen (

Full-Scale Bogie Rolling Contact, Adhesion and Braking Rig