As one of the UK’s leading providers of intercity travel, everything we do at LNER is geared towards delivering great experiences for our passengers, our colleagues and our communities. FutureLabs is where we co-create with world-class inventors to bring the future forward.

If you’re a startup with a solution that fits one of our briefs, we want to hear from you.


At FutureLabs, you’ll have unparalleled access to our data, infrastructure and expertise to help you land and scale your solution across our network.

What makes us different





Live briefs


Virtual 10-week programme

Dedicated 10 week programme with virtual delivery giving you the flexibility you need

Access to LNER data

Access to relevant LNER passenger, fleet and station data to help you tailor your solution

Partnerships, not pilots

Our programme has been expertly designed to enable long-term partnerships at scale

Dedicated funding

Innovators who join the programme can apply for funding to support their proof of concept

Customer validation

Unparalleled access to LNER customers to help you test and validate your solutions

Industry immersion

Access to our network of key industry partners to validate product assumptions and find more opportunities to scale

Small cohort, dedicated sponsor

With a maximum of 6 startups joining the programme, you’ll have dedicated, direct 1-1 sponsorship from senior LNER employees

Zero equity

We treat every partnership individually and we don’t take equity or fees to take part in the programme


What we're looking for

More Journeys, More Often
Personalised Customer Experience
Responsible Business Innovation

What to expect

Over the 10-week FutureLabs programme, you will work alongside dedicated sponsors at LNER to run a joint proof-of-concept and explore opportunities to launch and scale your solution across our network. With access to live operational environments and dedicated funds to launch your pilot, this is a unique opportunity to drive the industry forward, scale your business and co-create the future of rail travel.


Weeks 1 – 3

Meet the LNER team and your cohort and map out how your solution will be tested


Weeks 4 – 6

Get hands-on with LNER data and immersed into passenger and operational environments


Weeks 7 – 10

Move into implementation mode to launch your solution and explore ways to scale 


Demo Day

Present your solution in-person to to LNER and industry leaders, investors and media 

Dates for the diary

Who should apply?

We want to help innovative companies take their business to the next level by scaling their technology across LNER. To make sure you get the most out of the programme, we do have certain requirements we expect participants to meet. Applications closed on 8th May 2020.

Who should apply
  • Following a rigorous selection process, an exclusive group of 3-6 startups will have the opportunity to join FutureLabs.

  • We’re looking for startup, scale-up or inventors who bring solutions with the potential to transform LNER and the way we travel.

  • We’re open to innovations which are still in beta, right through to readily scalable technologies.

  • Our key criteria is that we’re looking for big ideas that meet our briefs and have the potential to transform the travel industry.

Your commitment
  • Attendance of a total of 12 virtual sessions is compulsory.

  • Minimum commitment of 30 hours (combination of sessions with the cohort and regular meetings with LNER sponsors).

  • Desire to establish a long-term commercial relationship with LNER (either as a customer, revenue share partner, or based on another model, once the solution has been tested and is ready to scale).

  • In-person attendance at Demo Day in London and/or York, UK on 9th September.


About LNER

LNER is the rail company that took over the East Coast mainline after Virgin Trains East Coast. We began our journey on Sunday 24 June 2018 and we have ambitious plans to change the face of train travel. We want to create a service everybody loves, that our people are proud to work for and helps the communities that we’re part of to flourish. We kept our promise to maintain a seamless transition between old and new. While doing that, we launched the future of rail travel, with our new Azuma train. It’s already a great success, introducing more seats, more space and above all, punctuality.

Together, we’re driving innovation and transforming rail travel. People, places and moving forward are top of our list. We embrace the communities that we operate in, welcome change and are determined to constantly improve everyone’s travel experience. We’re on a mission to bring rail travel up to speed and journey into the future.


Join us as we pioneer the next generation of rail travel.



©  London North Eastern Railway 2020

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