DfT triggers £1m new round of innovation funding

Chris Ames

Ministers have invited ‘innovative and tech-focused transport start-ups’ to bid for a share of almost £1m.

The Department for Transport said the £960,000 Transport-Technology Research and Innovation Grant (T-TRIG) is available for entrepreneurs and innovators pioneering new ways of creating a better transport system.

Officials said the fund releases targeted investments of up to £30,000 for each project, aiming to help start-ups and academics propel their ideas to market quicker.

Future of transport minister George Freeman MP said: ‘We now have an exciting opportunity to stimulate the brightest thinkers in our universities and small business networks to try out novel solutions to fix legacy problems across our transport system and realise their visions for the future.

‘Schemes like this grant will ensure the UK retains its reputation as a world-leading innovator, and I encourage early-stage businesses in the transport sector to apply for the funds available.’

T-TRIG is now in its 10th round of funding, having provided £4.6m over the past five years to more than 140 technology and innovation projects, with successful winners including Wayfindr and Flit.

Officials said cash from the fund has often been a precursor to funding from private investors, and over £25m in additional investment, largely from the private sector, has been secured off the back of successful projects awarded funding since the scheme began.

This year’s competition has three themed elements: Decarbonisation, Age-friendly and Accessible Transport, and Potholes and Resilient Infrastructure.

Alex Murray, managing director and co-founder of e-bike company Flit, said: ‘Early support from the Department for Transport was crucial for getting our first e-bike off the ground. The grant allowed us to build our first prototype with a specialist in Essex.

‘We learnt an enormous amount from this process, and these lessons have carried over to the FLIT-16 (pictured), the first folding e-bike that we successfully launched through a crowdfunding campaign in the summer of 2019.'



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