Network Rail Interactive Innovation App

Network Rail

Bringing innovation to life

Network Rail owns, operates and develops Britain’s railway infrastructure and exists to run a safe, reliable and efficient railway that supports the UK’s economic prosperity.

As an industry leader, Network Rail is committed to Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) and has an ambitious programme in place covering a number of key challenge areas.

An engaging and interactive innovation showcase

One of the major barriers to widespread contribution, sharing, and adoption of RD&I is engagement and communication.

Network Rail needed a platform that enables innovators to share their work and for everyone to be inspired. This is where the Network Rail Project Explorer app comes into its own.

A unique immersive 3D experience

The Project Explorer is an engaging and immersive 3D experience that provides Network Rail’s eclectic audience with a unique insight into the story behind the RD&I portfolio and how the projects fit together.

Users can pinch to zoom, drag to scroll, and tap to interact with the 3D environment, exploring the 5 challenge areas to find out more about them and their showcase projects. The interactive innovation app also enables users to view their progress through the exploration tracker, find out about terms and definitions in the glossary, feedback on their experience, and directly get involved to help shape the future of the industry.

Multi-channel deployment for wider accessibility

Originally designed as a large touchscreen experience to be used at events and exhibitions, the Project Explorer interactive app has been adapted to also be deployed to laptops, tablets, and as a web app.

This has enabled the RD&I team to quickly adapt to the ongoing COVID-19 situation to make the Project Explorer accessible to a wide audience even as face-to-face events are limited.

Promoting innovation through innovation

The Project Explorer interactive innovation app has huge potential, whether it’s promoting the innovation agenda amongst Network Rail’s 40,000+ employees, or whether it’s reaching out to other sectors, or helping to influence national policy.

Crucially, the app provides Network Rail with a very visible showcase of innovation in action, a key factor in building the organisation’s credentials in RD&I.

With the first version of the Project Explorer launched, Network Rail now has an immersive and engaging digital platform for promoting innovation, and ambitious plans are already in place for further developments to both content and functionality.