SPECIALISTS in rail tech in York have been recognised for the collaborative success of their ground-breaking work.

Incremental has received international accreditation for its partnership work to transform the rail industry.

The success of Incremental's work with Thales, a global leader in advanced technologies, has seen them become the second UK recipients of the Institute of Collaborative Working’s ISO 44003 Standard accreditation.

Incremental and Thales have built a strong relationship over several years, including launching innovative data-driven location tracking software for the rail industry. 

Their joint projects include the fibre optic acoustic sensing research and development. This includes using fibre optic telecoms infrastructure to cost effectively provide accurate train movement and position reporting, rail wheel and defects identification and trespass or trackside presence detection.

Such capabilities will ultimately improve the reliability of both passenger and freight rail services delivery.

Awarded previously to only one other partnership across the globe, ISO 44003 is a European standard that involves a structured approach to sharing resources, experience and skills.

The accreditation scheme is designed to benefit micro, small and medium enterprises through collaborative working.

David Taylor, of Thales, said there was a real synergy between the companies, even though Thales was a global brand, and Incremental was a small enterprise.

He said they shared the same ethos - to introduce new ways of working to deliver better, more cost-effective solutions to rail customers.

"We enjoy working with the team, who are passionate and proactive, and this was the perfect opportunity to better both our organisations and create a blue print for not only the rail industry, but for how global organisations work with MSMEs across any sector.”

Dan Lee-Bursnall, founder and CEO of Incremental, said: “The challenges SMEs face in the rail industry are widely known, a key one is being able to find the right people to speak to and get decisions made. Through our collaboration we have seen a real shift in the speed we can deliver projects thanks to the relationship we have with the Thales team."

Charles Storr, economy and enterprise manager at City of York Council, said: “As one of the first companies in the UK to receive this accreditation, Incremental and Thales are putting York on the map as an example of collaborative working that can truly benefit small businesses operating in a huge sector, such as rail. With our commitment as a city to be the home of Great British Railways, this is testament to our ability to lead the way within the industry and we’re very proud that it’s happening here in York.”

John Osborne, associate director of the Institute for Collaborative Working, said: “The partnership between Incremental and Thales is a true reflection of collaboration at its best.

"The way the two companies work together to bring out the best in each other is something the Institute is delighted to endorse through its validation scheme based on the principles contained within the ISO 44003 Standard.

"As one of the first companies in the UK to receive the certificate, this demonstrates the commitment Thales and Incremental have shown to support the journey and progression of an SME, as well as Thales using the opportunity to reflect on the way it works and improve its own practices in the process.

"We’re thrilled to award the teams the certificate and look forward to seeing how they take this even further forward in the future.”