More than £1m is being made available for firms that can develop new ways to use high-quality data to ease traffic congestion.
Congestion is an increasing issue for local authorities across the UK, particularly in large urban areas where it adds to emissions and causes delays.
It’s also hard to manage; a local transport report from the Department for Transport shows that many local authorities do not have reliable information on vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians, and much of the research they do have has been carried out manually.
In response, this new challenge from the Department for Transport and the Royal Borough of Greenwich is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) aimed at finding innovative ways to understand and respond to traffic congestion.
Funding for the competition is provided by the GovTech Catalyst.
Projects should be able to pull together high-quality data that’s easier to access and learn from than existing approaches. They should build understanding and improve responses to congestion while keeping affordability in mind. In particular, the competition is looking for ideas that:
• support local authorities with real-time traffic analysis as well as longer term strategy
• can be scaled up and applied to other authorities
• consider how data could influence the behaviour of motorists across the country.
The competition is likely to run in 2 phases, with the first phase focusing on feasibility studies and the second phase moving to prototype development and testing. In phase 1, up to 5 contracts will be awarded at up to £50,000 each.
In phase 2, another 2 contracts worth up to £500,000 each will be awarded to successful phase 1 projects. Successful projects should be ready to test in a real environment after phase 1.
How to apply
The applicant – or lead applicant if it’s a collaborative project – must register online and consider attending the briefing event in London on 20 August.
• the competition opens on 13 August 2018 and the deadline for applications is midday on 26 September 2018
• successful applicants will be contacted on 16 November 2018
• phase 1 contracts will be awarded on 14 December 2018
• we will not be able to fund proposals that rely on purchasing large amounts of data from a single existing provider or those that heavily duplicate existing initiatives.