• Status: Closed

  • Key features: Investment of up to £9 million in collaborative research and development to stimulate innovation in integrated transport solutions for local authorities. 

  • Programme: Collaborative research and development

  • Award: Up to £9m

  • Opens: 12 Jan 2015, 00:00

  • Registration closes: 18 Mar 2015, 12:00

  • Closes: 25 Mar 2015, 12:00

  • Support phone number: 0300 321 4357

Integrated transport: local authority solutions

Competition results

See the competition results here.

Summary

Innovate UK is to invest up to £9 million in collaborative research and development to stimulate innovation in integrated transport solutions for local authorities. The aim of this competition is to meet user needs by connecting people and/or goods to transport products and services. New or improved systems will be tested in environment laboratories. 
 
We will fund projects that work with local authorities to make transport more user-friendly and accessible. For example, a single customer service could select the quickest, most convenient, cheapest method for a parcel delivery or for planning travel on road and rail networks. 
 
Proposals must be collaborative and business-led. We expect to fund industrial research projects in which a business partner will generally attract up to 50% public funding for their project costs (60% for SMEs). 
 
We expect total project size to range between £2 million and £4 million and last up to 2 years, although we may consider projects outside this range. 
 
This is a two-stage competition that opens for applicants on 12 January 2015. The deadline for registration is noon 18 March 2015 and the deadline for completed applications is noon 25 March 2015. 
 
A briefing and consortium building event for potential applicants will be held in London on 20 January 2015. 
 

Background

Transport plays a major role throughout the economy, generating substantial employment and contributing to trade, as well as providing access to education, leisure, healthcare, rural towns and urban areas. 
 
To maintain its capability and capacity for growth, the UK needs to develop its transport systems. However, network congestion and overcrowding are obvious indicators that the networks are becoming saturated. 
 
Traffic congestion is predicted to cost the UK economy £300 billion over the next 16 years (see www.thisismoney.co.uk and search for ‘traffic jam 2030'). The economic cost of London traffic gridlock is estimated to reach £9.3 billion by 2030 (see www.cityam.com and search for ‘traffic gridlock 2030'). 
 
The rail network is under stress. Since 1995, passenger rail journeys have more than doubled and £1.6 billion journeys were recorded in 2013, resulting in too many passengers having to stand (see http://www.gov.uk/government/collections/top-10-overcrowded-train-services-england-and-wales). 
 
Through its local authorities, the UK is well placed to take an innovative approach to connecting transport systems and networks at a regional level. Integrated systems need to include all modes of transport and concentrate on improving the movement of people and goods. Solutions need to be focused on the user. Campaign for Better Transport suggests that groups of local authorities and customers should have more control (www.bettertransport.org.uk). For more information, see connect.innovateuk.org/web/local-authority-solutions-for-integrated-transport/ 
 
This competition will help shape the strategy of Innovate UK's new innovation platform, Connecting Transport. This new platform will address the transport challenges of: 
 
  • moving people and goods more efficiently 
  • integrating innovation (across businesses and strategies) with technology (such as information services, tracking management systems, smart ticketing, financial models, data communications) 
  • significantly improving how the UK manages the needs of its transport users 
 
This competition is based on, but not limited to, the outputs of the feasibility studies from Integrated Transport: in-field solutions Stage I (https://www.h2020uk.org/web/corporate1/-/integrated-transport-in-field-solutions). 

Scope

We are seeking innovative proposals for collaborative R&D to deliver integrated transport solutions to the transport users. The aim is to provide more informed, accessible, timely, cost-effective and easy-to-use services within an existing infrastructure and/or transport modes. Solutions may include cycling and other forms of transport to enable greater physical and/or virtual connectivity. 
 
Public and private sectors must work with local authorities to actively establish how to integrate existing transport systems, infrastructure, products and services. 
 
Proposals need to include large-scale transport laboratory environments that can develop and test solutions through: 
 
  • acquisition of new knowledge 
  • transition of research (seeking early stage fundamental research input into industrial research) 
  • collaboration and skills for developing new products, processes or services 
  • improvements to existing products, processes or services 

Transport laboratory environments 

Transport laboratory environments are prototype, real world test facilities. Conceptual tests on a group of networks or on a minimum of 2 systems must examine how products and services can be integrated to significantly improve the overall transport network or system. The systems can be virtual or physical. These conceptual tests should diagnose the difficulties in integrating networks or systems. 
 
The laboratory environments will: 
 
  • stimulate early stage integration of products and services 
  • consider innovation validation (look at commercial sustainability) 
  • critically investigate how to improve the movement of people and goods and/or investigate new products and services 

Integrated transport areas 

Project applications must focus on one or more of the following: 
 

Replicable and systematic open platforms 

 

Open platforms that will underpin a wide range of public and/or private products and services in a collaborative business environment. 
 

New transport services 

 

Transport services that meet customer needs. These are likely to be introduced as packages of complementary measures and involve at least 2 transport modes and public/private collaboration. 
 

New or improved business models 

 

Making transport accessible through new or improved businesses and revenue models that can transform the customer experience and behaviour. These need to challenge commercial models and the conventional public sector obligation to oversee effective transport and mobility. 
 
We are especially interested in proposals that include these core areas: 
 
  • laboratory environments (urban and national/cross-regional/intermodal) that address current and future transport issues 
  • a group of networks or a minimum of 2 systems 
  • business models that will link businesses and operators in a value chain 
  • evidence about customer needs and behaviours (address the willingness to pay) 
  • sustainable commercial operation beyond Innovate UK funding: consider the economic benefits and market size, including the international market 
  • target representative users 
  • governance: to achieve a balance between public and commercial interests 
  • practical data and information exploitation (considering ownership and availability) to demonstrate how these might encourage a change in human behaviour 
  • service requirements: identify business continuity, customer service requirements and produce a development plan 
 
Transport to airports is in scope but transport within airports and air travel is out of scope. 
 
Projects should not lead to further R&D questions. 
 
Applications must address some of the following challenges: 
 
  • a cash flow model (identify short and long-term funds and costs) 
  • a risk review (identify where Innovate UK funds would reduce risk that cannot be funded by the project participants) 
  • how the ‘unknowns' will be dealt with (what assumptions and estimates will be verified? how will evaluation be carried out?) 
  • innovation status (how novel is the proposal? have aspects of it been done before? do patents apply? what is the competition?) 
  • data sources and permissions (show that the project has secured access to the data it needs for testing) 
  • technology investment needs • management (what are the strengths of the management team? what is the management plan for a successful project outcome?) 
  • collaboration and commercial arrangements between project participants 
  • synergies with other projects (actual and potential) 

Funding allocation and project details

Innovate UK has allocated up to £9 million to fund collaborative R&D projects that address the technical challenges outlined in the scope. 
 
Successful applicants can attract grant funding towards their eligible project costs. The percentage of costs that we pay varies, depending on the type of research being carried out and the type of organisation involved. For this competition projects must be business-led and collaborative. 
 
Projects will last up to 2 years. Typically, up to 12 months R&D will be expected followed by at least 12 months' active trial phase. This extended active period is to maximise the opportunities for actual businesses and careers to emerge. 
 
We are primarily seeking to fund industrial research with a business partner attracting 50% public funding for their project costs (60% for SMEs). 
 
We expect total project size to range between £2 million and £4 million. We may consider larger projects but applicants should contact us directly before making their application to discuss further. 
 
To find out if your business fits the EU definition of an SME, see: http://ec.europa.eu/small-business/faq/index_en.htm
 

Application process

This is a two-stage competition that opens for applicants on 12 January 2015. 
 

Stage 1 

 
Applicants submit an expression of interest which is assessed. 
 
 

Stage 2 

 
We invite selected applicants to submit a full stage application. 
 
All applicants must first register via the Innovate UK website, interact.innovateuk.org by noon 18 March 2015. The deadline for completed expressions of interest is noon 25 March 2015. Successful applicants will be notified and invited to submit full applications. 

Applications are assessed on individual merit by an independent panel of experts. 

 
A briefing and consortia event for potential applicants will be held in London on 20 January 2015 to highlight the main features of the competition and explain the application process. Applicants are strongly recommended to attend this event. Register through the _connect group at connect.innovateuk.org/web/local-authority-solutions-for-integrated-transport/ 
 
Note: All deadlines are at noon. 

More information

For more information and all the documents you need to read before you apply, including the Guidance for Applicants, go to the web page for this competition at interact.innovateuk.org/ 
 
To apply you must first register with us through the competition page on the website. Registration opens when the competition opens and closes a week before the deadline for expressions of interest. 
 
Competition helpline: 0300 321 4357 
 

Help for SMEs to grow faster 

Small businesses that combine the funding they receive from us with additional business support are more likely to grow faster. If you are an SME and receive funding through this competition, you will automatically gain access to a growth workshop, an online diagnostic and a growth expert to help you develop a growth plan. This may include coaching, mentoring, entrepreneurial skills training. 
 

Publicity

As part of the application process all applicants are asked to submit a public description of the project. This should adequately describe the project but not disclose any information that may impact on intellectual property, is confidential or commercially sensitive. The titles of successful projects, names of organisations, amounts awarded and the public description will be published once the decision to offer an award has been communicated to applicants by email. Information about unsuccessful project applications will remain confidential and will not be made public.

E-mail pressoffice@innovateuk.gov.uk with any queries. 

Key dates

Competition opens: 12 January 2015 
Competition briefing: 20 January 2015 
Registration deadline: 18 March 2015 noon 
Deadline for invited applications: 25 March 2015 noon