The Government has awarded almost £2 million to support the development of 51 projects that are aimed at creating a more efficient transport system.
The Department for Transport (DfT) funding is part of the Government’s Transport Research and Innovation Grant (TRIG) programme.
Winning a share of the cash is the University of Cambridge, which is developing a new low-cost and lightweight steering system for HGVs which aims to reduce tyre wear, reduce carbon emissions and make it easier for larger vehicles to manoeuvre on the road.
Meanwhile, Makesense Technology will develop a technology to guide visually impaired people through the public transport network.
A handheld device will scan the area and provide touch feedback, such as a vibration, to the tablet holder, alerting them to any obstacles and their direction of travel.
Transport minister Trudy Harrison said: “Innovation funded as part of TRIG could be the key to unlocking a more efficient and safer transport system for tomorrow.
“I support the ingenious ideas of this year’s cohort every step of the way and wish the successful applicants all the very best.
“I look forward to seeing the ideas develop to boost our green agenda and create high-skilled jobs across the UK.”
Now in its 11th round of funding, the TRIG programme, delivered in partnership with the Connected Places Catapult, brings together talented start-ups – mainly SMEs and universities – and policymakers at the earliest stage of innovation to help enhance the UK’s transport system.
Since launching in 2014, more than £6m in grants has supported more than 200 TRIG projects.
The winners were selected based on four key themes; Maritime Decarbonisation, Future of Freight, Covid Recovery/Transport Resilience and then an ‘Open Call’ where any transport related idea was considered.
For the first time, six £100,000 Future of Freight grants were piloted for larger projects, moving them past ‘proof of concept’ and towards being demonstration ready.
These will complement the remaining 45 grants of up to £30,000 each, spread across all four themes.
The department will also be working in partnership with Connected Places Catapult this year to pilot an ‘Innovation Accelerator Programme’ which will support companies at a later stage in their innovation journeys.
The programme will provide funding to help projects take the last step towards the market by providing bespoke training from industry experts.
Rachel Gardner-Poole, Connected Places Catapult’s chief operating officer, said: “TRIG is a one-of-a-kind programme. It provides a mechanism to identify and support early-stage innovation that might slip through the nets of traditional funding routes.
“Connected Places Catapult is extremely proud to deliver TRIG 2021, which is supporting over 50 innovators across four different challenges, including the future of freight, maritime decarbonisation, COVID 19 recovery and resilient transport systems. I am excited to see what great products and services arise.”