Events and Activities

RIA Innovation Conference 2019

RIA’s innovation events have built an impressive track record over the last decade; they have become key diary dates for innovators in the UK railway industry, in both the supply chain and in client / government organisations, and offer a mix of information, networking and interaction to make innovation happen. We are proud to report that our Innovation Conference won the Trade Association Forum’s Best Conference Award 2018!

Our Innovation Conference provides a unique opportunity for engagement between RIA Members and invited representatives from the wider rail industry, as well as from academia and innovation bodies. Regular participants include Network Rail, London Underground, HS2, DfT, BEIS, ORR, Train Operating Companies, Rail Delivery Group, RSSB, UKTram, UK Rail Research & Innovation Network, Transport Systems Catapult, KTN and InnovateUK. Key speakers from within and outside the industry address important themes surrounding innovation to provoke and inspire.

2019 Programme
On its 11th edition, the RIA Innovation conference will feature a programme called ‘ M. A. D. E. in Britain‘. Building on RIA’s focus on ‘Growing Rail in uncertain times’, M.A.D.E stands for Materials, Automation, Data and Energy.

These are all key areas where the UK has world leading capability which could be converted into competitive advantage in a post Brexit era with the right approach to supporting innovation. The conference will have a mix of thought provoking speakers, interactive workshops, an exhibition and lots and lots of networking.

An exhibition area showcases innovative products and services developed by RIA Members, as well as displays from universities and industry bodies.

Interactive sessions
As well as presentations, the 2-day agenda includes interactive workshops to enable meaningful engagement and learning on specialist topics. Delegates can tailor their experience by selecting their preferred sessions, which are repeated on both days.

The event is held over two days to allow plenty of time for networking and engagement with other delegates and guests, including an evening reception and informal dinner and quiz.

We select campus style venues that enable our delegates to immerse themselves in the topics, network with new contacts, and take forward innovation for the industry, free from distractions of the day-job or the big city lights!

Over the years of having hosted the conference, which started as a 1-day seminar, we have found that two days – with a late start on day 1 and an early finish on day 2 – suits most delegates’ needs and includes quality networking time.

Young Rail Professionals
At RIA we aim to take a leading role in addressing the industry skills gap by including the new generation of rail professionals in these high-level dialogues regarding the future of their industry. Younger colleagues bring to the table a unique and invaluable perspective to the discussions, and as such we offer a discount to Young Rail Professionals.

The participation of academia is of utmost importance in sharing cutting-edge technological innovation in rail, which is often driven by our universities. In working together with UKRRIN, we also seek to raise the profile of degrees in rail engineering as a highly attractive and competitive career for potential graduates, with an aim to reduce the skills gap.


We are proud to boast a wide spectrum of attendees for our Innovation Conferences, bringing together all sectors of the rail industry. These include RIA Members (covering track, signalling, rolling stock, civils and more), Network Rail, Transport for London, DfT, Train Operating Companies, RSSB, UK Tram, universities, Transport Systems Catapult, the Knowledge Transfer Network and Innovate UK.

Date and Time: 19 March 2019,  10:00-16:00

Location: Telford International Conference Centre St Quentin Gate Telford TF3 4JH

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