In total, more than 600 applications from technology teams from Russia and abroad were submitted for participation in the acceleration program. The projects that successfully completed the program will have the opportunity of long-term cooperation with Russian Railways and the accelerator's partners.
Russian Railways together with JSC VNIIZhT and GenerationS (a platform for the corporate innovations development from RVC) summed up the interim results of the Rolling Stock acceleration program, launched in July. The accelerator's goal is to find the most promising technologies that will help to improve the safety and efficiency of Russian Railways rolling stock as well as to provide a modern level of passenger comfort.
From October 7th till October 14th more than 70 teams presented their innovative solutions to the Russian Railways and Accelerator partners experts.
On October 7-9, separate pitch sessions were held for Transmashholding, Sinara-Transport Machines Holding, Freight One and Gazpromtrans.
During the bootcamp, which took place on October 13-14th, 50 startups pitched their solutions online in front of experts from the Department of Technical Policy of Russian Railways and Directorates of Russian Railways, whose activities are related to the operation and repair of rolling stock. The event was attended by representatives of the Center for Innovative Development of Russian Railways, JSC VNIIZhT, and partners: JSC VNIKTI, JSC NIIAS, LLC RZD-Technologies, JSC FPC, JSC VRK-1, JSC VRK -2 "and PJSC TransContainer.
As a result, 20 projects were selected to participate in the acceleration program this year. Projects’ technologies include the following: monitoring systems and predictive maintenance of rolling stock; tools for high-precision and non-contact measurement of rolling stock elements and determination of defects; new production technologies and materials in the manufacture and maintenance of rolling stock, etc. Most of the projects represented cross-industry solutions.
Each of the Russian Railways departments selected on average 3 projects for collaboration during the acceleration program. The program includes an educational block aimed at presenting the specifics of the railway industry, familiarity with the technical requirements for products and the economics of projects, the formation and implementation of programs and test methods, and other aspects of interaction with the customer represented by Russian Railways and will finish in early December. Based on the results of the Demo Day, which is also scheduled in December, the finalists will have an opportunity of long-term cooperation with Russian Railways, as well as with the official partners of the accelerator.
In total, more than 600 applications were submitted to the Accelerator program, where 218 projects passed the expert assessment. Besides project from Russia, foreign startups from Kazakhstan, Israel, Belarus, Latvia, Germany, USA, Singapore, Uzbekistan, France and Estonia also took part in the selection. Most of the teams have demonstrated a high degree of elaboration of their solutions: about 60% of the projects, that have passed the assessment, have already established pilot or have their first sales, and 40% of the participants have registered foreign and Russian patents.
Ekaterina Petrova, Director of GenerationS corporate accelerator from RVC:
“We have successfully passed the first stage of collecting applications, detailed examination and now we are entering the most important phase, which will be crucial for many projects and will determine their future within the accelerator. For 1,5 months, we carried out a number of activities to attract relevant and strong projects in Russia and the CIS: more than 200 invitations were sent to our infrastructure partners covering about 30 regions in Russia, as well as the CIS and far abroad; more than 2,000 individual invitations to the projects, solutions of which corresponded to search queries, 6 regional online events were held among representatives of the innovation ecosystem. It is important to note that in this selection we traced a certain "flexibility" of innovative projects: some startups from other industries tried to adapt their solutions to the railway field and show how their project can be implemented within the framework of Russian Railways. We have received applications not only from Russia, but also international ones - for us such an increased interest in the Russian transport industry suggests that innovations in this area are rapidly developing, and Russian and foreign startups are still interested in this area”.
Roman Koshelev, head of the corporate accelerator of Russian Railways:
“We have approached an important milestone within the framework of our joint accelerator with GenerationS. Very hard and serious work on the selection and evaluation of projects was carried out. While collecting applications, we held a number of online events with regional representatives of the innovation ecosystem, which provided a deeper immersion in each of the key search areas. As a result, we attracted a significant number of applications from various Russian regions. Despite the fact that the stage of scouting came on the summer period, we noted an extremely high level of interest and readiness of startup projects for cooperation. In order to provide high-quality feedback to projects from potential customers, we held an event this September with the representatives of Russian Railways and partners. More than 40 business, scientific and technical experts were involved to startups assessment. As a result, 50 startups were selected to participate in the bootcamp. I would like to note that selected projects are entering the most important stage - acceleration. We wish them to show the maximum of their potential and successfully pass this decisive stage”.