£1.96m to Fund 67 Projects to Improve the UK’s Transport System

Technology that enables open sea refuelling using hydrogen generation from buoys, a personal sign language avatar that provides wayfinding information in train stations, and a climate change resilient permeable pavement solution are among 67 projects to receive a share of nearly two million pounds.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has today (6 June) announced 67 projects selected to receive funding through the Transport Research and Innovation Grants (TRIG) programme, which is delivered by Connected Places Catapult on behalf of the DfT. The TRIG programme allows the DfT to fund proof-of-concept research projects with innovation at their heart. Small to medium sized companies and academic innovators use the funding to develop new technologies, products and services to make transport systems function more effectively or enhance the way we travel.

This year’s winners bring the total amount invested through the TRIG programme to over £12 million since it launched in 2014, having funded nearly 300 projects. 

Projects supported by this year’s TRIG programme cohort fall within five key challenge areas: Maritime Decarbonisation; Transport Resilience to Severe Weather and Flooding; Future of Freight; Local Transport Decarbonisation; and Improving the Rail Passenger Experience. There was also an open call category for high-potential innovations beyond the defined challenge areas.

Some of this year’s winning projects include: 

  • Makesense Technology to create an app that uses augmented reality to create bespoke walking routes to help visually impaired travellers get around railway stations. 
  • Bluewater Engineering Ltd to develop its unique SKYTUG system which uses large kites to tow ships at the same speed as a traditionally-powered craft, which could help reduce the use of polluting engines and decarbonise shipping. 
  • IONA Logistics Ltd to explore how autonomous drones based out of small delivery hubs can be used to deliver small packages faster and cheaper to hard to reach rural areas. 
  • Transreport Limited to create an app that allows disabled and older passengers to book the support they need on plans in advance to improve the experience. This app is already in use on trains. 
  • Port of Tyne to explore the viability of using remotely-controlled, and in some instances automated, electric heavy-duty robots to replace HGVs to provide a cleaner and faster alternative, reducing delays in the delivery process. 
  • CC Informatics to explore the use of drones to create 3D digital models of structures, such as bridges and rail tracks, to identify cracks and defects in the structures that would otherwise be invisible, meaning repairs can be made quicker and before more serious issues could develop. 
  • Imperial College London to research the use of Kiacrete, a new type of paving made from recycled materials, instead of concrete as a more permeable solution to see how it can be used on highways to drain away surface water and reduce flooding. 

Beyond the funding provided, innovators supported by the programme benefit from tailored business support and the chance to work closely with industry and policy experts. 

“By getting funding into innovative start-ups, we are creating jobs of the future and growing vital areas of the economy. Transport Research and Innovation Grants support high-potential innovators to develop their ideas into new products and services. In addition to an injection of funding, companies that join the TRIG cohort benefit from access to experts from Connected Places Catapult to help them on their journey to commercialisation.”
Nicola Yates OBE, Connected Places Catapult’s Chief Executive
“From making travelling easier for visually impaired passengers to improving rural connectivity, these winning projects have the potential to transform the future of transport.

“The Government wants the UK to be a world leader in the future of transport, and through the TRIG programme the Department for Transport is supporting innovators and businesses to decarbonise and improve transport while growing the economy and supporting jobs across the UK.”
Jesse Norman, Transport and Decarbonisation Minister

Find out more about the latest TRIG cohort (listed below) and their projects in the cohort brochure.

TRIG 2022 Cohort Brochure
File Type: pdfFile size: 7.8MB

Open Call


Esitu Solutions


GKN Aerospace

Greenway Innovations


Ostrum tech


Rock Engineering

Sustainable Sailing


Open University




Maritime Decarbonisation

Achelous Energy

Bluewater Engineering




Cranfield University


EGB Engineering

GT Green Technologies

JET Connectivity

MSE International

Port of Tyne


University of Strathclyde

Transport Resilience to Severe Weather and Flooding

CMCL Innovations

East Riding of Yorkshire

Imperial College London

Sheffield Tribology Services

Slingshot Simulations


University of Huddersfield

Future of Freight

Ensemble Analytics





University of Cambridge

Local Transport Decarbonisation

Aegis Engineering


Better Bicycles

Boundless Mobility

Chrome Angel Solutions

Edge Innovation

General Noise

Iona Drones – parcel dispatch

Iona Drones – battery swap

Lancaster University

Optimal Cities

Other Way


The Tyre Collective

University of Birmingham

University of Hertfordshire

University of Leeds

White Motorcycle Concepts

Improving the Rail Passenger Experience


Distributed Analytics



MakeSense Technology