The UK Government has opened the latest round of its transport research and innovation competition, with £1.8m ($2.18m) of funding available to companies working on projects covering airport decarbonisation and using AI to make transport cheaper and quicker.

The Transport Research and Innovation Grant (TRIG) competition is in its tenth year, with businesses able to win up to £45,000, an increase on previous years, towards their projects that grow the economy while also decarbonising the transport industry.

Technology Minister Jesse Norman said: “TRIG funding has been a huge success over the past ten years, helping to pioneer the new ideas to solve the transport problems of tomorrow. 

“Today’s launch of the latest round of funding promises to build on the knowledge that innovation is key to helping improve transport across the UK, making lives easier and creating jobs.”

Other focuses for this year’s competition, which is delivered by Connected Places Catapult, include the Future of Freight plan, maritime decarbonisation in line with the Clean Maritime Plan and the use of digital twins to assist the resilience of transport networks. 

The TRIG competition has already awarded £12m to 361 projects since 2014, with 67 projects receiving funding last year towards technology such as navigation apps for disabled passengers and robots for freight ports. 

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Connected Places Catapult CEO Nicola Yates said: “TRIG support high-potential innovators to develop their fresh ideas. 

“Alongside financial assistance, they will receive a wide range of business support from Connected Places Catapult to help them realise their commercial potential.” 

The launch of the innovation competition comes shortly after the 2023 Rail Innovation Exhibition from Innovate UK, another of the government’s financial support agencies and Innovate UK KTN, where companies told Railway Technology that more support was needed for smaller companies to bridge the gap between initial innovation funding and signing contracts.