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Raising the bar for innovation in the construction industry

As the largest construction project in Europe, Crossrail is uniquely positioned to lead innovation in the construction industry.

The Crossrail innovation programme, Innovate18, provides an opportunity to capture and explore pioneering ideas from all of those involved in the project. The techniques, products and methods used on Crossrail are providing a benchmark for other construction projects.  

As the award-winning innovation programme continues to evolve, Crossrail aims to leave a legacy that inspires and motivates innovation in future infrastructure projects.

In delivering London’s new east to west railway, we hope to raise the bar in the construction industry, now and for future projects. To achieve that, we need to think differently about how we share ideas and implement them.

Crossrail has broken the mould in UK construction by being the first organisation to develop a strategy and process for managing innovation in mega projects.

Innovate18 has been developed by Crossrail in conjunction with Imperial College. It supports Crossrail’s mission to deliver a world-class railway that fast-tracks the progress of London and is designed to systematically identify and deliver improvements based on ideas generated from people across the project.

People are central to Innovate18. The network of innovation champions and innovators, drawn from Crossrail, its supply chain and its partners, provides energy and inspiration.

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Programme Purpose

The ability to innovate is fundamental to a world class organisation. Innovate18 provides a mechanism for exploring market leading technology, trialling new systems and designing process improvements. It supports Crossrail to improve safety, increase efficiency, develop digital capability and provide more sustainable solutions. 

At the heart of Innovate18 is a commitment to deliver capability, collaboration and culture. Where collaboration, in particular, is strong, Crossrail has shown that there is a direct correlation between performance and innovation. Innovate18 encourages ideas from across its supply chain. 

It provides a focal point for collaboration which supports an integrated approach to delivery. It allows the supply chain to collaborate to overcome challenges and deliver more efficiently by tapping into the wealth of experience from across the programme. 

To become effective innovators, people must believe that their organisation welcomes and encourages the generation of ideas ‘from everyone and everywhere.’

Ultimately, innovation needs to become an essential part of the mind-sets, routines and behaviour of people from different collaborating firms working as part of the same organisation.

Download Crossrail Innovation Strategy

What next?

There’s still a long way to go to realise the full benefits of Crossrail’s Innovate18 programme, however, its achievements are already impressive.

Innovate18 is realising the vision of bringing the Crossrail community together to deliver greater value. It has set the bar for other infrastructure projects by demonstrating the potential of an innovation programme. 

As Innovate18 evolves, Crossrail hopes to leave a legacy that the industry can build on in the future. 

Innovate18 is open to all Crossrail employees and colleagues from participating Tier 1 contractors, or nominated supply chain / stakeholder organisations.

55 million years old

The 55 million year old London clay excavated by our tunnelling machines was used to create a new RSPB nature reserve.