Government launches £2 million transport location data competition

The Geospatial Commission has partnered with Innovate UK to create a new £2 million competition which aims to look at how location data can spark innovation and support the future of mobility for the UK.

In an announcement the taxpayer-funded bodies say smarter mobility solutions, underpinned by location data, will enable us to make the most of our transport networks by boosting capacity, reducing environmental impacts and decreasing travel times. They add that this competition aims to “stimulate commercial innovation to help create geospatial solutions to our transport challenges and support the future of mobility.”

The competition has four themes:

Mobility as a service – to help better integration of transport modes
Active travel – creating safer ways to enable active travel
Supply chains – helping better distribution, storage and delivery
Boosting capacity – increasing efficiency of transport networks

Furthermore they give examples of projects that could be awarded funding, such as:

Sensors that can support safer transport.
Making better use of kerbside space for deliveries.
Near-miss identification tools to identify risk early on.
Geospatial tools to inform balanced infrastructure investment that supports social and environmental outcomes.
Apps that integrate a range of location data sources to provide new joined up services to transport users.

Minister for the Cabinet Office, Lord True CBE said, “Location data and technology will help improve transport services, enabling the efficient delivery of new networks and transport corridors. Location data helps connect people with the jobs they need, the goods and services they want, and the places they want to go. This competition will help position the UK as a global science superpower, and start to unlock £2 billion of economic value per year in our transport sector.”

Minister for Transport Rachel Maclean added, “Data is key for innovation in transport to flourish. Whether helping manage our transport networks, or rolling out connected autonomous vehicles, data is helping provide the new digital tools to change how we travel.”

Dr Ian Campbell, Executive Chair, Innovate UK commented, “As the UK’s Innovation Agency, Innovate UK is tasked with delivering measurable economic and societal impact across the UK. I am delighted that we are delivering this potentially game-changing competition, cementing the UK’s reputation as a world leader in shaping the future of mobility. There is clear demand for innovation and we are utilising the proven Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) process to bring together transport challenges and innovators in order to deliver novel solutions.”

The competition will open on 29 September 2020 and the deadline for applications is midday on 4 November 2020. It is open to UK-based organisations from a business of any size, academic organisation or higher education institute, charity, public sector organisation or local authority, public sector research establishment, research council institute or a research and technology organisation. There will be a virtual briefing event on 8 October.


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