SBRI: innovation in rail security surveillance analytics, phase 1

Key Features

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £968,000, plus VAT, for innovations that demonstrate security surveillance analytics in Network Rail stations.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £968,000

Opens: 16th Sep 2019

Closes: 13th Nov 2019

! This scheme is now closed


This competition aims to find out whether security surveillance systems and associated analytics can work in a station environment without disrupting the rail network.

The goal is to install surveillance analytics to enhance existing systems. The objective is to enhance safety and to reduce delay minutes resulting from station incidents caused by unusual, unsuitable and undesirable behaviours.

In phase 1 you will develop and demonstrate your analytics system using pre-recorded data. If you are invited to phase 2 you will further develop your R&D by trialling the system in a live station environment. Your application must describe your proposal and costs for both phases.


Your proposal must show that your system can meet the following requirements to progress to the phase 2 trial.


  • handle feeds from 20 to 30 cameras
  • handle the number of feeds found in a variety of station environments

Your proposal must show how scalability will affect performance.


  • process 720p and 1080p image quality
  • not use external connectivity on the cloud or internet


  • comply with Network Rail security, technical and data standards
  • use installed versions of the product at the station
  • work with the station management system after the trial

User requirements and alerts:

  • show audible and visual alerts to operators
  • show the operator the location in the station
  • identify the camera location to the operator
  • monitoring all day, every day

Your proposal must also show:

  • whether you have experience of implementing similar systems
  • that you can develop your technology to the scope requirements
  • the maturity of your technology
  • how you will deal with asset management or Network Rail Telecom assurance before the live trial (phase 2)
  • that you will build in reviews during the phase 2 trial to ensure quality at 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months (end of trial)

The system you develop in phase 1 and trial in phase 2 must provide all of the following.

Third-party data integration:

  • must be able to take video data as a direct feed in real-time and through external media
  • it will be an internet protocol (IP) camera feed (not analogue)

Real time data driven alerts for:

  • loitering
  • unusual or undesirable behaviours and incidents
  • crowd density and behaviour, or crowding trend analysis for security

Detection of unusual and undesirable behaviour of individuals at stations:

  • system must adapt to crowds
  • system must highlight crowding trends

Detection of abandoned objects:

  • identify objects that are not part of the station which may have been left for a user defined period of time
  • identify high risk ‘abandoned’ object such as suitcases or bags
  • cater for time-bound exceptions for temporary objects or structures, such as when there’s maintenance work within a station
  • can adapt to station building changes
  • can fine tune false positives based on trends, to reduce the number of false alarms

Hostile reconnaissance:

  • identify hostile reconnaissance behaviours
  • distinguish between hostile reconnaissance and loitering

They do not want projects to focus on the following system performance aspects:

  • facial recognition
  • alerts driven by social media mood and/or geo-location
  • logo and pattern recognition
  • mobile phone analysis
  • body-worn camera images
  • long-line public address systems and communications


Your organisation must:

  • be an organisation of any size
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • be based in the UK, EU or the EEA

Your organisation can work alone or, if you do not have all the required expertise, you can work with others as subcontractors.

Innovate UK understand it may be a challenge to access railway assets and get permission to make modifications.

You will need to develop your own relationships with railway asset owners, but to get help finding sub-contractors you could:

Funding Costs

Up to £968,000, plus VAT, has been allocated to fund innovation projects in phase 1.

Successful projects will be 100% funded. The funding is provided by Network Rail and the competition process is managed by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation.

Applications must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively for research and development (R&D) services. R&D does not include:

  • commercial development activities such as quantity production
  • supply to establish commercial viability or to recover R&D costs
  • integration, customisation or incremental adaptations and improvements to existing products or processes

Your project’s total eligible costs must be up to £121,000, plus VAT. Phase 1 projects must plan to start by March 2020 and can last up to 3 months. They are expecting to fund up to 8 phase 1 projects.

Phase 2

A decision to proceed with phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from phase 1. Only successful applicants from phase 1 will be able to apply to take part in phase 2.

An extra £500,000, plus VAT, will be available for phase 2.

If you are invited to apply for phase 2 your installation and trial should demonstrate that the system can:

  • automatically detect and alert the operator to appropriate incidents
  • deliver correct alerts with minimal rates of false positives and missed events
  • integrate with existing Network Rail procedures and operations

At end of the trial you must return the system to standard Network Rail operations.

You must produce a final research report with evidence to support your findings, showing how the technology performs in railway environments. It must include:

  • an identification of appropriate incidents
  • a list of the outcomes and successes
  • evidence for scalability of the system
  • a performance specification of the system

For phase 2, your project’s total eligible costs must be up to £250,000, plus VAT. Innovate UK expect to fund 2 phase 2 projects. Projects must plan to start by July 2020 and last up to 12 months.


Innovate UK are not funding projects that:

  • are not likely to be successfully exploited by the rail industry to deliver benefits to rail or light-rail organisations and their customers
  • are not within a year of being ready for market
  • do not create a significant change in the level of innovation available in the rail industry
  • are not high maturity
  • have high technical risk
  • have collaborations that cannot effectively deliver a demonstration in a railway environment
  • do not deliver an immersive innovative demonstrator in a railway context
  • do not have a demonstration phase, offering the customer a chance to use the innovation and give feedback