Transport Research and Innovation Grants (TRIG) provide early-stage funding for innovations in science, engineering, or technology delivered by The Department for Transport’s (DfT) project delivery partner, Connected Places Catapult.
For TRIG 2023, DfT will offer innovators grants of up to £45k across five separate challenge areas, in addition to an Open Call challenge to undertake early stage feasibility studies.
Under the open call, the DfT is seeking innovative ideas that have the potential to address a UK transport challenge, across all modes and technology areas. It should be noted that although the open call is available for solutions to all transport challenges, applicants should consider their proposals within the context of DfT’s priorities and innovation needs.
We are holding an application support webinar on 9 November with the DfT, which will include an overview of the programme, challenges, guidance on the application process and a live Q&A. Register here.
TRIG is open to any UK organisation to support proof-of-concept projects that could lead to the development of successful new transport research products, processes, or services. TRIG is designed to support organisations by providing easily accessible grants, alumni, and wrap-around support from Connected Places Catapult to bring innovations closer to the market. The programme also provides a collaborative space for innovators, including academics, SMEs, and large businesses, to work with DfT’s policy teams on realising shared goals. Since 2014, over £12 million has been awarded to 361 projects.
TRIG aims to:
- Stimulate the development of new technology solutions to DfT challenges.
- Provide innovators with support to try out new ideas – to show early promise; or fail fast.
- Join up innovators with DfT colleagues in a safe setting and allow them to learn together.
- Help create future leaders in transport, whilst driving jobs and growth.
There are six calls within the 2023 programme, as detailed below.
Any science or technology that may contribute to improving the transport system will be considered for the Open Call. This could include investigating equality of access to transport services for all users, or the performance of a new low carbon fuel. Applicants with new ways of exploiting datasets to improve services, or tools that could increase the safety of women using public transport, or encourage modal shift and active travel are also invited to submit their ideas.
Innovative technologies and processes with the potential to accelerate local transport decarbonisation across the UK are welcome, especially those taking a place-based approach and demonstrating an understanding of the specific needs of a local area.
Projects could include mobility hubs, initiatives that support communities to make greener transport choices and tools to address challenges faced by rural areas. Areas of interest may include Mobility as a Service, shared mobility solutions and ways of supporting businesses to reduce their transport emissions.
Projects that help deliver on two policy commitments set out in the Jet Zero Strategy from Government are sought, namely supporting airports to develop ground infrastructure to handle zero emission aircraft, and working towards all airport ground operations in England becoming zero emission by 2040.
Project outcomes should either help develop and commercialise technologies which can support airport decarbonisation, increase the visibility of airports as a market to develop low and zero carbon technologies, or support innovators working to develop hydrogen ecosystems.
Ideas to improve sustainability within the freight and logistics sector and which follow the goals outlined in the Government’s Future of Freight plan are welcome. Areas of focus could include decarbonisation, the circular economy, reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality. Other areas which may feature include waste management, freight packaging and sustainable energy sources.
Testing and implementation of emerging technologies such as automation, and the sharing of data to design and optimise systems are among further areas of focus.
Projects that demonstrate an innovative use of communications networks or technologies to share data, feedback between digital and physical assets to improve processes and outcomes, and the use of Artificial Intelligence or machine learning to process data and generate insight are welcome to apply.
The scope of this challenge is not limited to one transport mode, but projects will need to exploit at least two – and ideally all three – of the technologies listed in the headline.
Clean maritime solutions that are innovative, promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from maritime and support the transition to net zero by 2050 are invited to be put forward. Projects could focus on low and zero emission fuels, energy sources and vessel technologies; landside infrastructure and energy efficient measures to allow their uptake; and smart shipping technologies, automation and artificial intelligence that deliver indirect emissions savings for any size of vessel.