Other services

The Horizon Scanning team is a group within the RSSB R&D Department. We also manage a varied research programme and provide knowledge and technology transfer services.

Knowledge and Technology Transfer Services

We support the rail industry by locating information on behalf of our members, and identifying answers and solutions that already exist, thereby avoiding duplication of effort and enabling members to focus their research efforts in the most promising areas. A major component of this is the Knowledge Search Service, which provides detailed reports and analysis to RSSB members on subjects as varied as hyperloop, drones, disruption management, data architectures for transport modelling, and vandalism-proof technology. The full reports for all of these are available via SPARK. You can submit a knowledge search request by filling out the request form on the Knowledge Services Web Page, or emailing

Research Programme

Through RSSB, the industry invests about £9m each year in a varied R&D programme. Anybody can submit a research idea within the scope of the R&D programme, using the research idea form.  These forms are reviewed by cross-industry groups to explore the likely benefits, develop a business case, and identify how the knowledge can be delivered effectively. If you have a specific idea for a research project - whether you are from the railway industry, a potential supplier, or a member of the public - please complete an R&D Idea Form and submit it via the customer self-service portal . Please note that any research idea may be the subject of competitive tendering. Visit the Research and Development Webpage for more information


SPARK is a free, interactive web tool for the rail industry to share and find key information and help drive innovation. SPARK users create a community of professionals working together to reduce duplication, speed up innovation and maximise value. Details and full-length reports from the knowledge services and research programme can be accessed here by registered users.

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