Rural railway station in Wales

UK Government funds £2m of innovative transport proposals

The Department for Transport (DfT) is supporting some of the most innovative transport projects across the UK, including across the rail industry, as it awarded the latest round of a £1.95m funding pot.

Supporting 51 entrepreneurs and innovators, the funding will help the UK realise innovations around decarbonisation, Covid-19 recovery, and improved transport resiliency, including to extreme weather conditions.

One project, for example, aims to make true-real time train information available to customers in geographically remote stations in Wales.

Part of the Government’s Transport Research and Innovation Grant (TRIG) programme, it is the latest funding award in a programme which has ran since 2014.

The latest awards represented the largest number of projects supported in a single round of funding.

Among the winning bids were projects focusing on the future of freight, Covid-19 recovery and transport resilience – all key areas of innovation and growth within the rail sector.

For example, for the first time, six Future of Freight grants worth £100,000 each were piloted for larger projects, moving them past ‘proof of concept’ and towards being demonstration ready.

These will complement remaining 45 grants of up to £30,000 each, spread across all themes.

This marked the 11th round of funding from the TRIG programme, which has provided more than £6m in grants since its inception eight years ago, supporting over 200 projects.

This year, the programme made significant efforts to encourage a diverse mix of applicants, with successful project proposals coming from as far afield as Southampton to the Shetland Islands.

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: “Innovation funded as part of TRIG could be the key to unlocking a more efficient and safer transport system for tomorrow.

“I support the ingenious ideas of this year’s cohort every step of the way and wish the successful applicants all the very best. I look forward to seeing the ideas develop to boost our green agenda and create high-skilled jobs across the UK.”

DfT will also be working in partnership with Connected Places Catapult this year to pilot an Innovation Accelerator Programme, which will support companies at a later stage in their innovation journeys.

Rachel Gardner-Poole, Chief Operating Officer at Connected Places Catapult, added: “TRIG is a one-of-a-kind programme. It provides a mechanism to identify and support early-stage innovation that might slip through the nets of traditional funding routes.”

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