On August 24, Russian Railways announced the launch of RZD Transport Accelerator at PRO//Motion.Expo, the International Railway Salon of Equipment and Technologies. It will bring together industry leaders in an effort to search for and implement breakthrough ideas and ensure efficient cooperation between startups and corporations. The unique project format entails building an innovation ecosystem aimed at delivering the objectives set by the Transport Strategy of the Russian Federation.
Anatoly Khramtsov, Deputy CEO & Chief Engineer, Russian Railways: «Russian Railways Holding Company has continuously been implementing new and improving proven innovation tools. The company has a fine-tuned system for forecasting innovation- and technology-driven development priorities, we run foresights and technology benchmarkings. We use them to analyze development trends in the transport industry with due regard for the domestic and international socio-economic drivers, and to search for the best solutions to maintain and strengthen our status as one of the world’s top hi-tech railway companies.
The open innovation ecosystem built by the company allows us to search for and find innovative solutions with due regard for these priorities. Russian Railways have established 16 regional innovation development centers in the regions of company presence in order to foster targeted interaction with stakeholders. RZD Transport Accelerator, a successor to corporate accelerator, is meant to be a platform for interaction between large businesses and SMEs, science and hi-tech companies, startups and venture capitalists, as well as a convenient practical tool and “assembly point” for cross-cutting projects for the benefit of transport industry players. As a result, it may have a positive impact on transport revamp, upgrade the quality of our services, and ultimately, improve the living standards in our country. In this regard, I invite techpreneurs to join the first acceleration program of RZD Transport Accelerator, and all stakeholders to take part in further development of this project.»
Valentin Ivanov, Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation: «In order to build an efficient transport system, we basically need to combine competencies of key market players, search for and implement innovative solutions. Moreover, today we can already see a trend for search for innovative solutions aimed at achieving both corporate and public objectives in terms of economic growth through the development of transport infrastructure, including the railroads. I’m certain that the joint efforts of industry leaders under the project will allow delivering the strategic goals we’re pursuing today faster and in a more efficient manner.»
Sergei Vinogradov, CEO, JSC VNIIZhT: «RZD Transport Accelerator will evolve on the basis of corporate acceleration programs successfully implemented within Russian Railways Holding Company. They’ve been run since 2019 and have allowed obtaining as much as over 2,500 bids, selecting 218 out of them and then polishing 84 innovative solutions within Russian Railways jointly with our business customers and implementing 21 pilot projects, four of which have already been being replicated across the company’s business units.»
Ekaterina Petrova, Director of the GenerationS Corporate Innovation Development Platform: «Today, owing to the synergy of partners and the pool of competencies of Russian Railways, VNIIZhT, and GenerationS, the accelerator is being transformed from a corporate project into an independent RZD Transport Accelerator project to become a full-fledged innovation hub, that will bring together technology, science, private and public sectors in an effort to shape the transport industry of the future in Russia. Due to the new project format, its participants will enjoy a number of benefits, including the expansion of platforms for piloting and exchange of best practices, extended list of corporate partners, access to venture capital funds, as well as the emergence of new target markets for products and financial risk mitigation.»
The key representatives of the industry took part in the launch of RZD Transport Accelerator: Anatoly Khramtsov, Deputy CEO & Chief Engineer, Russian Railways; Valentin Ivanov, Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation; Ekaterina Petrova, Director of the GenerationS Corporate Innovation Development Platform (RVC); Sergei Vinogradov, CEO, JSC VNIIZhT, Sergei Novodvorsky, Chief Engineer, Belarusian Railway, and other experts.
The following partners have so far joined the RZD Transport Accelerator: JSC AVTOVAZ, JSC NefteTransService, PJSC TransContainer, Gazpromtrans LLC, FESCO Integrated Transport LLC, Transport Innovations of Moscow (Public Transport Innovation Development Fund), FSBI Research and Development Center for Railway Troops under the Ministry of Defense of Russia, JSC Company TransTeleCom, LOGOPER LLC, and PC Aquarius LLC.
In 2023, Russian Railways have won the first federal award in the field of corporate innovations in Russia in the Driver of Innovation category. The award organizers and experts were highly complimentary about the efficiency of corporate innovation development management system at Russian Railways Holding Company.