From: Government Office for Science and Innovate UK
Part of:
Road network and trafficBusiness enterpriseGreenhouse gas emissions, and Industrial strategy

First-of-a-kind technology with the potential to come to market quickly is being trialled across the UK to improve the lives of citizens.

From schemes that promote cleaner, greener travel to online deliveries straight to your car boot – these are some of the innovative ideas being trialled in Innovate UK’s first of a kind deployment competition.

With more than 70% of people estimated to be living in urban areas by 2040, city infrastructure and design requires a drastic change in order to support a high quality of life.

Each of the projects is designed to enable a step change in innovation that will make a real difference to the energy, transport and urban infrastructure of the future. In total, 12 projects will share £18 million to develop their ideas.

The ideas

Projects are exploring the potential to:

take the flexibility of click and collect even further by delivering orders straight to the consumer’s car boot. This project – by Car Tap - uses new reliable and secure keyless vehicle access technology. The trial will enable 100 customers of Farmaround to receive deliveries of organic boxes

  1. address the problem of disposing used batteries – one of the areas of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund – by exploring how old Nissan electric vehicle batteries can be used to store peak electricity from UK homes. There will be a 50 unit, 12-month trial led by Powervault. Partners include Nissan, Aston University, Hyde Housing, Lyra Electronics, M&S Energy and Solarcentury
  2. ease congestion and problems with parking by operating a virtual loading bay. Commercial vehicle operators will be able to pay to reserve kerb space to load or unload. Transport for London Road Network (TLRN) is running the trial in Wandsworth, focusing on high-density loading ‘hotspots’
  3. convert electricity into hydrogen at a mass scale to create affordable, green energy for the transport sector. The trial by ITM Power will provide energy balancing and refuelling for a fleet of 20 fuel cell buses in Birmingham
  4. encourage the adoption and use of electric vehicles by making charging even easier. ZAPINAMO is an easily deployable, rapid charging system. It is trialling 2 solutions:
  • rapid charging for up to 20 taxis at once at Heathrow Airport, making it easier to park and charge and improving air quality
  • a mobile charger to serve 4 Europcar E-Car Club electric vehicles, which comes directly to you as and when you need it

A full list of projects can be found in our list of funding competition winners 2017.

Funding from Innovate UK

The projects are part of a £19 million investment by Innovate UK that invited businesses to test and evaluate new infrastructure technologies in the real world.

This is the second phase of the competition. All of the projects completed a finance and business case in the first phase. Those selected for phase 2 will now demonstrate their innovations in a commercial environment.

Read about the background to the competition.
Learn more about our work in infrastructure systems.
Apply for an innovation funding award.