One third of DfT procurement spending committed to SMEs

Posted: 7 August 2018 | | No comments yet

A recent announcement demonstrates DfT’s support for small businesses, with the department exceeding its target for procurement spend with SMEs.


The Department for Transport (DfT) has set out plans to level the playing field for small businesses bidding for government contracts.

In its SME Action Plan, the DfT has committed to directing a third of its procurement spending towards small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by 2022.

As part of this pledge, the department has also awarded £700,000 in Transport Technology Research Innovation Grants (T-TRIG) to support innovative transport projects, including a universal train access ramp that would help passengers with reduced mobility board trains more easily.

Transport Minister, Jo Johnson, said: “Small and medium-sized businesses play a key role in this country’s economy and I am proud of our outstanding record in this area. With this new action plan, we are leading by example by making it easier for these businesses to bid for contracts and we will continue to support them over the coming years.”

In 2018, out of 23 innovative transport projects given a share of £700,000, 14 were from SMEs with fewer than 250 members of staff.

These projects included a system to encourage uptake of electric taxis by providing live information on chargepoints, an app that improves communication and passenger experience for people who use sign language and software development to improve the use of airspace and reduce commercial flight times.

T-TRIG funds organisations with innovative early-stage projects, which show promising transport benefits for the UK. It has already provided a total of around £2 million of innovation funding since its launch in 2014.

It also comes as part of the government’s growth agenda which seeks to maximise the positive impact of public spending on boosting the economy.

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