“There are so many really good examples of impact, collaboration, insight and invention from the Transport Research & Innovation Grants programme,” remarked the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor Sarah Sharples at a showcase event in Leeds, which celebrated the achievements of 67 projects that made up the most recent cohort of funding recipients.
Professor Sharples presented five Chief Scientific Advisor Awards to the most successful innovators to have developed new technologies and ideas through the TRIG programme this year, which is funded by the DfT and delivered by Connected Places Catapult.
An award for ‘Outstanding project delivery for a business-led project’ went to DBR & Associates for its scheme to improve station lift access for passengers with disabilities; using an innovative monitoring approach; making maintenance less disruptive. Sarah praised the team for “coming up with a really great innovation, with massive impact on travellers”.
‘Outstanding project delivery for an academic-led project’ went to Lancaster University for its development of a societal readiness assessment dashboard for transport decarbonisation innovations. Professor Sharples said those involved in the scheme “showed outstanding commitment to TRIG” and praised their engagement with colleagues from the Department.
An award for ‘Most innovative proven idea’ went to VESOS Solutions for its work to develop a system that reduces response times to accidents and breakdowns on motorways and rural roads. The company “proactively engaged with stakeholders in the UK, Ireland and Australia and collaborated with the DfT’s policy teams to raise awareness of the technology,” Sarah noted.
The ‘Project identified as having the best growth potential’ went to TaiSan which has developed the world’s first sodium-ion powered quadricycle. Since being involved with TRIG, the firm has signed 13 Memoranda of Understanding with automakers, taking its total to 19. “This is a really impressive number for a technology at this stage in its development,” said Professor Sharples.
Finally, the ‘Inspirational leadership’ award went to Susan Ross at Edge Innovation for creating a new approach to community car sharing in rural areas. The project involved stakeholder research and workshops, which were “carried out in a professional and effective way, showcasing the value of the project and how strongly it considers end users,” said Sarah.