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UK announces nearly £2 million worth of grants for tech startups enabling better transport

London Underground

The UK government today announced a new round of funding for "transport technologies of the future" which includes rescue mission drones, sensors to help visually impaired people use transport, and more. The government says that up to 60 projects will be awarded a share of the £1.85 million fund to develop early stage research that focuses on innovative ideas for creating a better transport system.

The UK's Transport and Decarbonisation Minister Jesse Norman said:

"AI rescue drones, magnetic train tech, and sensors to help visually impaired people are just some of the cutting-edge transport projects this programme has already funded.

We’re determined to support path-breaking R&D across the UK. This new round of funding is designed to find the next top tech projects that will improve transport for millions across the UK.

By aiming at emerging start-ups and small businesses we can ensure we build a tech base for the future."

The funding is being provided under the Transport Research and Innovation Grant program, also known as TRIG 2022. The program was first launched in 2014 and has funded more than £10 million in grants and over 300 projects.

Some of the previous winners for TRIG include:

  • Vivacity for an artificial intelligence camera technology that gathered real-time transport usage data and has now been implemented by Local Authorities including Milton Keynes, Salford and Oxford and was used during the pandemic to monitor social distancing on local transport.
  • Makesense Technology for researching on shape-changing haptic technology that uses vibrations to give feedback from a device to guide visually impaired people through transport networks like train stations and airports.
  • Snowdonia Aerospace for drones that could create a 4G/5G network in the sky by grabbing the signal of any network to provide service in areas of poor or limited connectivity.

In addition to industry applicants, TRIG 2022 is also open to academic applicants and could help university researchers turn their ideas into practical solutions. This can be a valuable way for researchers to take the first steps towards starting their own company and contributing to the growth and job creation in the UK's transport industry. Interested parties can apply for TRIG 2022 here.

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