A new innovation competition intended to reduce the impact of roadworks on drivers, local businesses and communities has been launched by National Highways in collaboration with Connected Places Catapult.
The competition will look for innovations that make a difference for road users, communities and businesses impacted by roadworks
National Highways is seeking new technology, products or services that can make a positive difference to people’s experience of roadworks, whether they are driving through or live nearby.
The competition invites organisations to apply for funding and the opportunity to test their innovations on the road network.
National Highways’ executive director of major projects, Nicola Bell, said: “Roadworks are essential as we invest billions of pounds ensuring our roads are managed, developed and maintained, but that work can impact on day-to-day lives and the local economy.
“Through this competition we hope to find solutions that we haven’t yet trialled, tested or even thought of ourselves that will make a difference for road users, communities and businesses impacted by works.”
The competition launches on Monday 5 September and will allow smaller enterprises, which haven’t traditionally worked directly with National Highways, showcase their ideas and win the chance to trial them on the road network.
It’s being run with a deliberately wide brief to enable a wide range of ideas.
Competition winners will get up to £15,000 funding to explore the feasibility of using their solution on National Highways’ roads, along with support and guidance from Connected Places Catapult and National Highways.
Up to 10 solutions will be selected and the best ideas will then be taken forward. The winners will have the opportunity to apply for further funding to trial their innovation on National Highways’ roads.
The ideas that are most successful in the trials will be taken forward with National Highways and their supply chain, with a view to full commercialisation.
A webinar on 19 September will provide further details of the competition, which closes on 9 October. The winners will be announced in January 2023.
More information on the competition can be found here: Innovating to improve customer experiences of roadworks (catapult.org.uk)