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Government funding innovative transport solutions

The Department for Transport has announced that more than sixty projects are being allocated government funding to help them develop and test new transport innovations.

Through the Transport Research and Innovation Grant (TRIG) programme 67 projects will be given a share of £1.96 million as they look to accelerate innovation in transport. Almost four in five of the projects are also based outside London, a record number for winning projects.

Projects that are receiving the funding include:

  • An app that uses augmented reality to help visually impaired passengers to get around railway stations
  • Remote-controlled robots for deliveries
  • Kite-powered tug boats to reduce emissions
  • Drones to deliver packages in hard-to-reach areas.

Engineers, academics, and innovators will be encouraged to develop ‘blue skies’ research as they look to address some of transport’s biggest issues through real-world solutions. The funding, alongside the innovation, can also be a driving force in encouraging the establishment of new companies which will help to grow the UK economy and deliver jobs across the country.

Jesse Norman, Transport and Decarbonisation Minister, said:

“From making travelling easier for visually impaired passengers to improving rural connectivity, these winning projects have the potential to transform the future of transport.

“The government wants the UK to be a world leader in the future of transport and, through the TRIG programme, the Department for Transport is supporting innovators and businesses to decarbonise and improve transport while growing the economy and supporting jobs across the UK.”

Projects that receive funding have the potential to transform transport, with the winners this year bringing the total investment amount to more than £12 million since the TRIG programme launched in 2014, funding nearly 300 projects in that time. Focusing on a range of transport-related issues, the programme looks at:

  • Maritime decarbonisation
  • The future of freight
  • Local transport decarbonisation
  • Improving the rail passenger experience
  • Transport resilience to sever weather and flooding.

The programme is being delivered in partnership with Connected Places Catapult, bringing together innovators and policymakers in the early stages of innovation to help to improve the transport system in the UK.

Nicola Yates, Chief Executive of Connected Place Catapult, added:

“By getting funding into innovative start-ups, we are creating jobs of the future and growing vital areas of the economy.

“Transport Research and Innovation Grants support high-potential innovators to develop their ideas into new products and services.

“In addition to an injection of funding, companies that join the TRIG cohort benefit from access to experts from Connected Places Catapult to help them on their journey to commercialisation.”


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