The Railway Industry Association’s (RIA) Meet the Bidder sessions for HS2 have seen over 100 meetings between Tier 1 companies and suppliers, helping support the delivery of two key work packages on the UK’s new low carbon, high speed railway.
Throughout June, RIA – on behalf of HS2 – organised a series of meetings between HS2’s Preferred Bidders and companies wanting to work with them, with almost three quarters of those registered SMEs. The meetings focused on opportunities on the ‘Operational Telecommunications & Security’ and ‘Tunnel & Lineside M&E’ Systems packages, each worth over £300 million.
The process saw:
- 118 responses from 102 different suppliers – 75 of which were SMEs (74%);
- Companies join from across the rail industry and beyond – one in six businesses registered were from other sectors; and
- 108 meetings organised between suppliers and Tier 1 companies.
Gaynor Pates, Operations Director at the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “It has been fantastic to support HS2 by providing Meet the Bidder sessions for two key work packages. We have been delighted with the positive response and interest we have had from SMEs, with more than 100 meetings organised between Tier 1 companies and those looking to working with them. It is also great to connect companies who have expertise and technology used in other sectors which they can bring to the railway industry.
“We hope the connections made will spur new ideas and innovation, helping support the delivery of this vital project. Thanks to all who took part!”
A number of the preferred bidders for the two packages also commented.
Richard Howell, Group Head of Supply Chain at Costain, said: “These virtual fast paced meetings provided an excellent opportunity to allow all parties to exchange valuable information about their respective approach and offerings in support of HS2. This sort of early supply chain engagement will help ensure sustainable procurement and more efficient delivery of the project. The range of suppliers was diverse and many of the offerings were both creative and innovative which will help the project realise the full spectrum of desired value outcomes.”
David Taylor, Account Director High Speed Rail at Thales UK, and Ken Kyle, Business Development Manager at Telent, said: “We have been delighted by the response to the HS2 Operational Telecomms Meet the Buyer activity. The companies that responded to the invitation represented a wide range of capabilities and we are actively meeting many of the companies to discuss potential engagement not just in relation to HS2 but also wider Thales and Telent business opportunities. Thanks to RIA for facilitating the process.”
Raja Clair, Tender Sourcing Leader at Alstom, said: “The whole process has been really useful, with the suppliers’ responses being good quality. The fact that the sessions were arranged by RIA ensured responses and admin were managed efficiently, their network also provided a useful insight into the local supply chain.”
Julian Randle, HS2 Delivery Lead at Siemens Mobility, said: “On behalf of Siemens Mobility, thank you to the team at the Railway Industry Association for inviting us to participate in the SME ‘Meet The Bidder’ event. This event has allowed us to identify potential partners for our UK team to work with to meet HS2’s strategic goals of being a catalyst in economic growth, fostering skills, and creating sustained regional employment.”