Launch event agenda About us


Presentations from the event are available to download here

Session 1 - 1pm

Showcasing recent innovative achievements in rail, aspirations, and routes to market.

Welcome - Railway Museum

Andrew McLean - Assistant Director

Our museums' role in innovation

The opportunity for the Railway Museum to drive and support innovation in rail


Nicola McGuiness Brown - Head Of Innovation & Business Excellence - LNER

Joining the rail industry in early 2016 with a vision that “innovation” will be a word LNER no longer needs to define: it’ll be something they just do.

Think BIG, start small

How we’ve learnt to disrupt rail and lead the way with Innovation, developing a culture of Being Bold and an Eco system that’s agile enough to Fail Fast and Fail Happy

TransPennine Express

Colin Kelly - Innovation Manager - TransPennine Express Colin is Innovation Manager at TransPennine Express (TPE), having worked at TPE since 2015, originally as eCommerce Manager and moved to innovation in 2016.

Innovation Takeaways at TPE

TPE are well into their Innovation in Franchising Fund (IiFF) and this presentation will discuss some of the lessons learned so far and how this could help potential future suppliers and partners to successfully do business. From the start to the end of the process we will identify the pitfalls but also the great opportunities that are there to be taken.


Wayne Batty - Head of Innovation - Arriva Rail North (Northern). Northern is already going through a major transformation, but through innovation Northern also want to challenge their thinking around how things are done to drive even more change. Wayne has spent the majority of his career in the rail industry and has extensive commercial experience particularly in the fields of Business Development and Business Excellence. In recent years he has headed up innovation in Northern. He is a passionate champion of what “could” be done vs. what’s always been done.

Northern’s ambition for YoRIC

There are a multitude of networking groups here, there and everywhere and from my point of view if we are to set another one up in the North then it must do more than what’s available in these existing groups.

Network Rail

David Shipman - Innovations Engineering Manager - Network Rail. David heads up the Signalling Innovations Group within, supporting and influencing the introduction of new technologies and processes, not just in signalling but for products and design technology across multi-discipline applications. Responsibilities range from the day to day delivery of infrastructure surveys using the latest technologies designed to remove the workforce from the operational railway, and support of a range of innovative design tools, through to advanced research and development activities looking at adopting the latest technologies from outside the railway industry to achieve further advancements in design tools and signalling products.

Innovation in Signalling

As we stand on the cusp of CP6, further innovation is absolutely essential to achieving the ongoing efficiencies we need to make in order to have a sustainable railway now and in the future. This presentation will outline why this is so critical and highlight some of the opportunities for both incremental and step-change innovation in the signalling world.

Innovate UK

Rhianne Montgomery (TBC)

Innovate UK

A brief introduction to Innovate UK and its role in providing funding opportunities to develop innovations. Innovate UK has a dedicated rail team, which offers funding through rail-specific competitions


YoRIC founders

YoRIC's aspirations for YoRIC

YoRIC's aspirations for YoRIC - where next? What does success look like to you? What topics would you like us to cover? 

Session 2  ~ 2.30pm

Lightning talks - showcasing innovations not yet widespread in rail, and sharing experiences of bringing products to the rail market


Nick Coad - Independent Consultant - Nick has extensive experience of working in the rail industry. He currently runs his own consultancy and is leading three large Innovation Projects involving multiple parties and technologies totalling £2 million. Prior to setting up his own business Nick was a Director at National Express Group for 10 years.

Innovation Projects in Rail - Lessons Learnt

Nick Coad will talk about some of the key lessons he has learnt from winning Innovation Competitions and then running Innovation Projects.


Bethan Vicent - Head of Marketing at Netsells - Bethan is Head of Marketing at Netsells. With experience leading and contributing to cross-functional Marketing and Product teams, Bethan is used to bringing ideas to market at speed.

Developing an Innovation Culture

Innovation doesn't happen by accident, it's a product of good design.

Bethan's talk explores some of the conditions organisations can create that allow teams to think of, and most importantly deliver on, market changing ideas.


Joanna Evans - Human Factors Engineer at Thales Ground Transportation Systems. Joanna has spent the majority of her career in the rail industry ensuring product development follows a user centred design process to improve both end user acceptance and usability. In recent years, Joanna has worked on a number of innovation projects which aim to address the future needs of rail operators as well as passengers. She is passionate about putting the passenger at the heart of all rail products and services to improve the wellbeing and experience of others.

Rail Life

Rail Life is a collaborative research activity focusing on how we can improve our understanding of passenger well-being using wearable devices and mobile applications. The programme is a joint collaboration of Northern Rail, Thales, Saturn and Robertson Cooper and is sponsored by RSSB. Within the presentation Joanna will begin with a background to the Rail Life project; who is involved in the research and the benefits of cross-industry collaboration, what the key aims of the projects were and what challenges the project aspired to overcome. Joanna will then summarise the method of a trial with over 400 Northern Rail Passengers testing a prototype passenger sentiment data collection tool, summarise initial data insights and key lessons learnt. Finally the presentation will conclude with the key project next steps, as well as general recommendations to the rail industry for how to develop future solutions which can improve passenger experience and wellbeing.


Rayner Gill - Business Development Manager - Incremental Solutions. As an experienced Rail Professional, Rayner spent the previous 8 years working in the UK rail industry on the East Coast Main Line, gaining experience in various operational roles across the route, before joining Incremental in October 2018. He has developed a broad knowledge of the rail industry whilst also gaining first-hand experience of many of its specific challenges, which has helped to provide an insight into how these are currently being addressed. This leaves him well placed to help drive the innovation and adoption of disruptive and novel technologies developed by Incremental and to highlight new ways of thinking for existing and emerging problems.

Innovation – A matter of perspective?

Innovation doesn’t necessarily mean creating new technologies to solve an existing problem, it can be as simple as looking at a challenge in a different way to how others have previously gone about tackling the problem. This talk will illustrate how thinking about changing human behaviours, including our own, can also drive innovative solutions in a very simple way. Incremental are a supplier to the rail industry and will present recent case studies of how we have driven innovation through delivery of new projects and how we have found a route to market for our solutions.


Trevor Burton - UK RILA Programme Manager - Fugro. Trevor is responsible for deployment of the innovative train mounted survey system on the UK Rail Network. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors and has over 40 years of experience in survey and mapping technologies.

LIDAR surveying

This presentation explores the deployment of the RILA train mounted survey system that has been operation in the UK since 2013 and considers the growing number of applications that survey data is being used for within the industry. RILA can be mounted to in service passenger trains, dedicated locomotives or RRVs and offers a clearly defined HSE benefit by negating the need for boots on ballast in the collection of the survey data.


Tom Vanhinsbergh - Digital learning specialist working within the Thales Training Solutions business line. After receiving sponsorship by Thales in 1997 and earning his degree in Electronic Engineering he moved into a training role as a Graphic Artist. Through his introduction of digital-age learning methodologies and technologies he progressed into his present position. Tom is currently developing a digital learning strategy which will bring learning innovation to all Thales markets, including rail. Tom lives in Sussex, with his wife and two daughters, where he helps run a local fundraising group, enjoys holidays in his caravan and is regularly found hacking his way around a golf course.

Demystifying Digital Learning

At the heart of any successful training solution lies the need of the learner. These needs, particularly the way in which learners access information, have radically changed over the last 10-15 years. With the magnitude of information available today and a desire to access that information on-demand, the modern learning landscape has to evolve to motivate and engage a new generation of digital-first learners. Tom’s presentation will guide you through examples of some of the exciting uses for digital learning methodologies and technologies being developed by Thales. These will include demonstrations of anytime/anywhere maintenance training, gamification/game-based learning and an overview of immersive technologies. The aim of the presentation is to introduce new ideas through engaging media and help to demystify some of the terminology being used within the learning industry.

Omnicom Balfour Beatty

Ryan Wareing - Gauging and Vehicle Dynamics Engineer Ryan joined the Balfour Beatty Gauging team as a Graduate Engineer. He predominantly specialises in Vehicle Dynamics, namely VAMPIRE modelling. More recently he has been focusing on how to use the data in these models effectively to improve current practices.

Improving Passenger Safety

The presentation will look at a particular problem of "stepping distances" and applying digital modelling to provide a more reliable solution that can be trusted

RTS solutions

Lucy Prior MBE – Business Development Director at RTS Solutions Lucy has worked across a spectrum of disciplines within rail and is firmly rooted in the SME community. Appreciating the relevance of cross-sector learning she is a dab-hand at joining the dots, making random connections that work for collaborative benefit.

Supply Chains: actual and virtual

Starting with the beginner’s guide to the railway supply chain Lucy will talk about the notion of virtual supply chains and will explore some of the options available to new-entrants looking to make sense of the who, how and where do I start, and why we all need to think collaboratively.

Session 3 ~ 4pm

Exploration and discussion

  • The opportunity for discussion with speakers to explore topics in more detail
  • Networking and setting-up follow-up actions
  • Agreeing the themes for future YoRIC events.