Rail in Manchester, via Istock

TRIG funding continuing to innovate transport industry tech

A new round of government funding launched on the 12th December 2022 will catalyse much needed growth within the transport industry as technologies of the future will be brought to life, seeing as many as 60 projects that could be awarded a share of £1.85m.

This funding from the Transport Research and Innovation Grant (TRIG) is in place to aid the development of early-stage research projects that are designed to support innovative ideas, with the aim being not only to foster information that can improve the sector, but also to generate growth.

Previous winners include:

  • a trial using a drone in remote areas to help emergency services find missing people
  • a project exploring 3D technology to help visually impaired people use public transport
  • the development of magnetic technology to improve reliability of rail services in rain and snow

Transport and Decarbonisation Minister Jesse Norman said:

“AI rescue drones, magnetic train tech, and sensors to help visually impaired people are just some of the cutting-edge transport projects this programme has already funded.

“We’re determined to support path-breaking R&D across the UK. This new round of funding is designed to find the next top tech projects that will improve transport for millions across the UK.

“By aiming at emerging start-ups and small businesses we can ensure we build a tech base for the future.”

The TRIG 2022 programme will have five targeted funding calls, alongside an ‘open-call’, considering any transport related idea. Specific areas of focus include:

  • maritime decarbonisation
  • future of freight
  • local transport decarbonisation
  • transport resilience to severe weather and flooding
  • improving the rail passenger experience

Previous winners of this grant have spanned the likes of Makesense Technology, who are researching the feasibility of using shape-changing haptic technology, which uses vibrations to give feedback from a device, to guide visually impaired people through transport networks, such as train stations and airports.

Lenz Ltd, another previous winner, proved the concept of a novel magnetic rail traction technology, which can improve reliability and safety of rail services under adverse conditions. This innovative tech works to ameliorate the connection between wheels and the rails themselves through magnetism, which will not be impacted by items on the line like ice or leaves.

Since it’s launch in 2014, the TRIG has supported almost 300 projects with over £10m awarded between them. Accompanying the industry applicants, TRIG is also open to academic applicants as it helps university researchers translate blue-skies research into the real world and create new solutions.

Nicola Yates OBE, Connected Places Catapult, Chief Executive Officer said:

“The UK’s innovation ecosystem is adept at developing solutions to complex problems. Government-backed projects like TRIG feed the early stages of the UK transport innovation pipeline and help us identify and nurture viable solutions to some of our biggest challenges.

“The TRIG 2022 call is focused on finding the next wave of state-of-the-art transport solutions, enabling the creative innovators to propel us along the road to a greener future whilst driving growth.”

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