Research & development

University expertise

The East Midlands is home to a number of leading universities, including Loughborough, Nottingham, Leicester and Derby. Together they provide a wide range of graduate and postgraduate courses in civil construction and engineering disciplines and a steady flow of well-qualified graduates and professional qualification programmes supporting workforce development.

Regional universities also provide major contributions to the UK Rail Research Group, of which Loughborough University and the University of Nottingham are key partners. This group works to:
  • pioneer academic and industrial research programmes 
  • provide extensive R&D support to regional companies
  • contribute to improved capacity, reliability and safety and reduced environmental impacts
  • bring together researchers, industry and policymakers to improve research, and industry practice
Such academic expertise combined with the established regional industrial strength is instrumental in modernising processes to ensure networks and infrastructure are fit for purpose for generations to come.

Additional R&D benefits
  • The region is home to the Old Dalby test track, the only full speed test track in the UK, currently used by London Underground Limited to test and commission the next generation of London Underground trains built in Derby by Bombardier.
  • Network Rail’s R&D team is based in Derby where it focuses on improving the performance and reliability of the rail network.

Key sectors > Rail > RandD