Innovate UK’s Integrated transport - In-field solutions competition aims to invest in feasibility studies seeking new approaches to dealing with traffic congestion through ‘integration’.
Integration is considered to potentially offer efficiencies, such as by reducing capital cost and maintenance, or providing a self-functioning and self-monitoring transport system. Innovate UK envisage successful implementations boosting local economies, increasing social inclusion and reducing the environmental impact of transport.
The overall aim is to encourage new ways of thinking, to deliver more efficient transportation.
The competition has two phases: the first feasibility studies (early in 2014), followed by in-field trials.
Aims of the feasibility studies
The feasibility studies aim to:
- identify a real-life situation where the movement of people and goods is being hindered through outdated transport systems, and can be made more efficient through integration;
- identify existing economic impacts in the trial area, and provide quantifiable evidence of the potential for financial improvement through its trial solution;
- develop future-system flexibility, to protect against fast-moving innovation in transport technologies;
- identify any issues around stakeholder management etc, and encourage business collaboration;
- overcome any deficiencies in interoperability, incompatibility of data or differences in language in providing a product or service;
- assess local market size and the potential for home-grown innovation;
- through design and engineering, leverage existing infrastructure and system components to reduce operational and maintenance costs;
- improve the provision of information to passengers
- bring together public and private services, so that routes can be used most effectively.
Collaborative R&D: In-field trials
For the second stage, large-scale, real-life in-field trials will be run to provide evidence of how approaches will offer cost reductions in infrastructure, how resilience, security and interoperability can be increased, and how data can be used more effectively for the benefit of customers and operators.
Up to £9.5m will be made available for the large-scale in-field trials, that will last for 12 months.
In-field trials will be funded at 50-60% of project costs, depending on the size of the organisation, with total project costs for in-field trials to be between £1m and £4m.