To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the value is of the (a) rent-free working space and (b) commercial and technical support being given by the Government through the High Speed Two project to (i) Digital Rail, (ii) Hypervine, (iii) Rail Diary, (iv) Grid Smarter Cities and (v) Open Space.
The HS2 accelerator is a programme to support innovation in UK-registered Small Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) working on HS2. HS2 Ltd does this through its lead innovation partner, the Connected Places Catapult (CPC), an independent research organisation set up as a not-for-profit entity, part funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
SMEs are selected for the HS2 Accelerator programme after applying to an open competition call that sets out some of the specific innovation challenges experienced by HS2. It is advertised nationally through multiple channels in line with industry standards for accelerator programmes.
Selected organisations participate in the Accelerator on a voluntary basis and receive no direct financial benefit. Desk space and meeting rooms are made available by CPC in Birmingham when needed for training, business development advice and meetings with HS2 Ltd. It is not possible to calculate the monetary value associated with the future ad-hoc use of this resource. This resource is not in lieu of any existing arrangements the SMEs may have in place. The value of HS2 Ltd’s contract with CPC is £390k, and we are working with 10 UK SME companies.