Home Company News Spatial Cortex wins Transport for Wales innovation programme

Spatial Cortex wins Transport for Wales innovation programme

Spatial Cortex has been declared the winners of the second cohort of Wales’ leading rail-dedicated innovation programme following a successful virtual demo day.

Competition organiser Lab by Transport for Wales, a concept introduced to Wales by KeolisAmey, looked to inspire innovation within businesses both in Wales and across the industry, with the demo day providing an exciting insight into some of the cutting-edge solutions passengers can soon look forward to.

11 start-up businesses – some of the most creative and ambitious tech talent from across Wales and the UK – pitched their ideas to leading Transport for Wales decision-makers in a bid to secure extra funding to develop their product further and help shape the railway experience for customers in Wales.

The cohort have been working closely with TfW over the course of the last 12 weeks, receiving dedicated mentoring from business experts to advance their products, ideas and innovations during the accelerator programme.

The ideas included using camera sensors to provide real time passenger counting data, a cloud-based ‘travel assistant’ for organisations that need to manage people-flow and travel demand, and a mobile app which would provide location-based information about the view from a train window.

The demo day featured video presentations from each of the start-ups, as well as an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and network with them during virtual Microsoft Teams breakout rooms.

After a day of pitches, Spatial Cortex was chosen as the winner and will be awarded £25,000 to develop their product further.

The proposed product, named MOVA, is a revolutionary wearable technology for railway staff to help reduce manual handling injuries when undertaking tasks such as lifting, carrying and manipulating materials whether trackside, in depots or carrying out maintenance. The technology will enable quantitative assessments and provide deeper insights to prevent manual handling injuries whilst overcoming the drawbacks of current risk-assessment practices.

Alistair Gordon, CEO of Keolis UK, said: “Transport for Wales’ Lab programme helps to showcase the best of Welsh start-up talent while also finding new solutions to improve key aspects of both the physical and digital passenger experience. It’s all part of our commitment to working with TfW to ensure Wales’ new rail network is truly first-class and underpinned by the latest innovations in technology.

“But the benefits of this programme could also be felt by passengers further afield than Wales. As global leaders in shared mobility, operating public transport networks on behalf of 300 transport authorities and three billion passengers worldwide, developing and adopting innovative ways of improving the passenger experience continues to be key to our success.”

Speaking after being declared winners, Kailash Manoharaselvan, Co-founder and Director of Spatial Cortex said: “Given that we are an early stage start-up currently, winning the prize is an absolute game-changer and will make a real difference to us.

“It will accelerate and boost our start-up journey by allowing us more resource and time to deliver on the next steps along with Transport for Wales”.

Barry Lloyd, Head of Customer Experience and Innovation at KeolisAmey Wales spoke of his excitement at the prospect of working with Spatial Cortex, saying: “Demo day was a fantastic showcase of the talented companies we have been working with over the past 12 weeks. Judging all 11 was a tough task but we felt that Spatial Cortex have the potential to be a real innovation in rail and have a huge impact, not just for us, but for the whole industry. Emu Analytics and Route Konnect also fully deserve to be highly commended for all their hard work in the development of some brilliant solutions for us.

“We are also exploring the option of working with some of the cohort that were not commended, which is testament to just how good this cohort has been.”

Recruitment will soon be starting for the next cohort, which will launch early next year.

Nigel Wordsworth BSc(Hons) MCIJhttp://therailengineer.com

SPECIALIST AREAS Rolling stock, mechanical equipment, project reports, executive interviews


Nigel Wordsworth graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, after which he joined the American aerospace and industrial fastener group SPS Technologies. After a short time at the research laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA, Nigel became responsible for applications engineering to industry in the UK and Western Europe. At this time he advised on various engineering projects, from Formula 1 to machine tools, including a particularly problematic area of bogie design for the HST.

A move to the power generation and offshore oil supply sector followed as Nigel became director of Entwistle-Sandiacre, a subsidiary of the Australian-owned group Aurora plc. At the same time, Nigel spent ten years as a Technical Commissioner with the RAC Motor Sports Association, responsible for drafting and enforcing technical regulations for national and international motor racing series.

Joining Rail Engineer in 2008, Nigel’s first assignment was a report on new three-dimensional mobile mapping and surveying equipment, swiftly followed by a look at vegetation control machinery. He continues to write on a variety of topics for most issues.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Network Rail enhancement budget cut by £1bn

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris has confirmed, in a written answer to a question from Shadow Secretary of State for Transport Jim McMahon,...