Tech companies in £2m competition to “revolutionise transport”

Entrepreneurs and innovators pioneering new ways of creating a better transport system are in line to get taxpayer funding to “see their ideas brought to life from idea through to inception”.

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison has announced up to 53 projects will be awarded a share of £1.95million in Department for Transport funding. Past winners include a purifying system to lower virus transmission on trains, a portable charger for use at remote locations and a battery cooling system.

In the 2020 round of funding, The University of Surrey constructed a device that could make it safer for people to travel. The device could be installed on trains and buses to purify the air and lower the transmission of certain viruses including Covid-19. The device works by sucking air through the equivalent of a cold flame. Ionising plasma then attacks any virus particles that may be in the air and breaks them apart, rendering them harmless.

Similarly, Greenway Innovations developed a system that attracts and grabs virus droplets that are produced when you cough. This system could be installed on trains to purify the air and lower the transmission of viruses.

“Backing innovation is a priority for us, and I’m delighted to be supporting Britain’s budding entrepreneurs, as they help us to ensure people can travel at ease and to solve the complex task of decarbonising our transport system,” Trudy Harrison said. “This is vital as we look ahead to a greener and safer transport future that will create jobs right across the UK.”

Now in its 11th round of funding, the Transport Research and Innovation Grant brings together talented start-ups – mainly SMEs and universities – and policymakers at the earliest stages of innovation. By issuing targeted investments of up to £30,000 for each project, the fund aims to help budding start-ups and academics propel their ideas to market quicker.

“The UK’s innovation ecosystem has a strong track record in developing solutions to complex problems,” added Connected Places Catapult CEO, Nicola Yates. “The TRIG 2021 call is focused on finding the next wave of state-of-the-art transport solutions, enabling the sector to achieve net zero and become more resilient to disruption. I very much look forward to seeing the proposed innovations and working with the successful teams to support their journey to market.”

(Picture – Yay Images)


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