£2 million competition launched to decarbonise transport across UK

Posted: 16 November 2023 | | No comments yet

In line with the UK government’s 2035 zero-emission vehicle commitment, the £2 million Transport Decarbonisation Demonstrators programme invites businesses to pioneer emission-reducing transport solutions.

£2 million competition launched to decarbonise transport across UK

The Department for Transport (DfT) has unveiled the Transport Decarbonisation Demonstrators programme, a £2 million competition aimed at fostering collaboration between businesses and local authorities to pioneer and test innovative transport schemes that promise long-term emission reductions.

The programme, slated to open for applications on 27 November 2023 and conclude on 8 January 2024, is set to be a catalyst for economic growth by supporting businesses in bringing cutting-edge solutions closer to the market.

Open to all UK businesses, the competition invites applicants to seek grants of up to £500,000 to execute pioneering trials targeting local transport challenges. Notably, 50% of the fund is earmarked for rural areas, emphasising the commitment to leveraging technology and innovation to address unique challenges such as job access and social isolation.

The trials funded by the competition aspire to shape the future of green transport systems while simultaneously enhancing the range and accessibility of transport options available to passengers. The competitive grants will be administered by Innovate UK, the national innovation agency under UK Research and Innovation.

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Mike Biddle, Executive Director Net Zero at Innovate UK, said: “Taking a place-based approach to decarbonise our transport systems is critical if we are to reach our net zero targets both locally and nationally and prosper from the transition to net zero. Innovate UK are delighted to be working with the Department for Transport to invest £2 million in innovation projects aimed at not only reducing emissions, but also building key partnerships between local authorities and businesses which will ensure maximum impact.”

The announcement aligns seamlessly with the UK government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan, furthering the commitment to drive decarbonisation efforts at the local level, contributing to the creation of greener villages, towns and cities.

This initiative builds upon the success of the Transport Research Innovation Grants (TRIG) local decarbonisation call from 2022, which funded 20 innovators developing early-stage solutions to local decarbonisation challenges. 

The government’s commitment to green transport is also underscored by its recent commitment to achieving zero-emission vehicles by 2035. The ambitious target mandates that 80% of new cars and 70% of new vans sold in Great Britain must be zero-emission by 2030.