Transport efficiency and safety innovations receive DfT funding


The Department for Transport (DfT) has awarded £1.95 million in funding to innovators inventing ways to improve the efficiency, safety and sustainability of the transport system.

The DfT provided the funding through the government’s Transport Research and Innovation (TRIG) grants scheme, which was established in 2014. Since its launch, the TRIG scheme has allocated £6m to more than 200 projects.

For its 11th round of funding, the program – carried out in partnership with the government innovation agency for the transport industry and autonomous vehicles Connected Places Catapult – is supporting 51 projects, the highest annual number of projects supported in a year. in the history of the program.

The DfT selected the winners based on four key themes: maritime decarbonisation, the future of freight, the COVID-19 recovery and transport resilience.

“This year, the program has focused on increasing the diversity of its applicants. From Southampton to the Shetland Islands, the winning projects are based across the UK and reflect the DfT’s commitments to upgrading,” the DfT said.

Among the winners is AJEA Products, which focuses on creating stand-alone flood protection for critical transportation infrastructure. It will design self-deploying barriers that can be installed at stations across the UK that will automatically pop up when flooding is detected, preventing passenger journeys from being disrupted by extreme weather conditions.

City Science Corporation has received funding to develop a system to identify optimal locations for mobility hubs using AI-based generative design, while Robotiz3d’s Seal-It project aims to create the first proof-of-principle prototype of a test bed to quantitatively evaluate the performance of road crack sealing materials and methodologies.

Another infrastructure-related project that has received TRIG funding is Inorail at the University of Surrey. This involves the development of a damage detection system for railway bridges using an instrumented train that can inspect bridges on the layout while moving at operational speed.

The University of Strathclyde has secured funding for its proposal to develop an early warning and real-time bridge scour risk assessment tool, leveraging information from flood forecasting, modeling low cost hydraulics and flow sensors.

Another winning bid was John Lamb Executive Solutions’ project to deliver a prototype of mature geospatial technology, which addresses the challenge of maintaining situational awareness of road network impacts during major incidents. Stormchain aims to enable a rapid and proactive risk-based response to the loss of bridges, structures and community access.

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: “Innovation funded through 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 the best of luck. I look forward to seeing the ideas grow to boost our green agenda and create high-skilled jobs across the UK.

Earlier this week, Railway Minister Wendy Morton launched the sixth round of the DfT-funded First of a Kind (Foak) competition with £7.6million to be allocated to rail projects focusing on the improvement of the profitability and performance of the network.

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