The £14·8 billion Crossrail project to deliver the Elizabeth line east–west railway across London has pioneered the
development of a systematic programme approach to innovation. Previous papers have focused on the early stages of setting up Crossrail’s innovation programme – known as Innovate18 – and implementing it as a credible component of the delivery organisation. With the Elizabeth line now close to completion there is an opportunity to reflect on the project’s experience of innovation and the performance of its programme as it reaches maturity. This paper describes the maturing programme, lessons that have been learned and how the programme has migrated into an infrastructure industry platform.