RIA launches 2021 Innovation Conference from 28-30 April, including keynote from Andrew Haines OBE

12 March 2021

The Railway Industry Association’s (RIA) award-winning Innovation Conference will be back this year with an exciting line-up of speakers and a jam-packed agenda from 28 to 30 April 2021.

The 2021 RIA Innovation Conference, which is open to all and will be held virtually for the first time ever, will bring together leading innovators, clients and policymakers from across the sector and beyond, to showcase some pioneering technologies and projects in rail, and help connect members of the industry.

The current line-up of speakers includes:

  • Andrew Haines OBE, Chief Executive, Network Rail;
  • Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Rail Minister (invited);
  • Jo Bamford, Founder and CEO, Ryse Hydrogen;
  • Irina Parsina, Customer Success Unit, Microsoft;
  • Caroline Donaldson, Managing Director, West Coast Partnership Development;
  • Ian McLaren, CFO, GTR;
  • Luisa Moisio, Innovation Lead, RSSB;
  • And many more!

This year’s event will feature keynote addresses and sessions over the three days examining the theme of Railway of the Future, and focusing on key challenges such as economic growth, regional investment, decarbonisation and global exports.

An interactive virtual networking platform will provide extensive opportunities to meet other industry members involved in innovation, ranging from key clients and Tier 1s to SMEs. Exhibition stands are also available.

RIA is also delighted that BBC Click Presenter LJ Rich will be hosting the Conference.

David Clarke, Technical Director at RIA, said: “It is brilliant to be back with our Innovation Conference, and to have such an exciting line-up of speakers and events that will cover some of the most critical challenges and opportunities for the future of our industry.

“Whilst we can’t yet meet in person, we will be hosting this year’s RIC on a truly immersive virtual platform which will provide a host of exhibiting and networking opportunities to attendees, which RIA will be announcing soon.”

Strategic Partners for the Conference include Network Rail and the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN). The Conference’s confirmed sponsors are Platinum Sponsor Knorr-Bremse, Gold Sponsor Altran and Silver Sponsors Porterbrook and Harmonic.

To find out more and register, click here.

Notes to Editors


  1. To find out more and book your attendance https://www.riagb.org.uk/RIA/Events/RIA_Innovation_Conference_2021.aspx
  2. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. RIA has some 300 companies in membership in a sector that contributes £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people—more than the workforce of Birmingham. It is also a vital industry for the UK’s economic recovery, supporting green investment and jobs in towns and communities across the UK. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number). RIA works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe and to share best practice and innovation across the industry.

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