Search begins for freight innovators with ideas to improve sustainability, efficiency and resilience

Innovators can apply now for expert support to develop their solutions alongside the opportunity to access up to £150k for testing.

Agile innovators with new ideas to make the freight and logistics sector greener, more efficient and resilient are invited to come forward with their proposals from today, to take part in the second round of the Freight Innovation Fund Accelerator programme.

Up to 10 small to medium sized companies will be supported through the competition – delivered by Connected Places Catapult on behalf of the Department for Transport – after the Government pledged £2.4 million of support.

Round two of the accelerator forms part of a £7 million, three-year Freight Innovation Fund that aims to scale up and roll out innovative technology across the industry to help decarbonise freight.

“Freight and logistics are the beating heart of our economy and it is only right that we celebrate the sector so that it gets the recognition and support it deserves.

From boosting zero emission tech across freight to attracting the future generation of talent to the industry, we are working hard to drive innovation, create jobs and grow the economy by building a brighter, more innovative future for one of our most crucial industries.”
Richard Holden MP, Roads Minister
“Freight is a crucial sector for the UK and contributes around £127 billion to the economy, but it is not without its challenges. Reducing the sector’s carbon footprint, cutting journey times and easing traffic congestion are key areas of focus, alongside the development of efficient and better-connected logistics hubs.

We are proud to be continuing our work with the Department for Transport as we open applications for the second cohort of the Freight Innovation Fund Accelerator programme. The companies chosen will benefit from access to funding and expert support to develop their technologies and innovations that promise to make the freight sector grow, become greener and work smarter.”
Nicola Yates OBE, Chief Executive, Connected Places Catapult
Roads Minister, Richard Holden MP, addressing freight innovators at Connected Places Catapult on 16 October

Round one of the Freight Innovation Fund Accelerator programme supported a series of cutting edge projects such as using drones to deliver mail to the Orkney Islands, and deploying zero emission technology and vehicles to move freight across London.

Today’s call for companies to get involved in round two of the accelerator programme comes as Government announces £200 million of funding to boost freight decarbonisation, by investing in the roll-out of 370 zero emission heavy goods vehicles and a network of supporting infrastructure, across four projects in the Zero Emission Road Freight Demonstrations (ZERFD). Connected Places Catapult played an important role in helping to unlock this funding, and is continuing to engage with industry to remove barriers to further scale up of zero emission HGVs.

“The UK is at the forefront of the global transition to net zero, and today marks another important milestone to decarbonise freight, one of the economy’s most vital industries.

That’s why I’m pleased to reveal that we’re investing £200 million to roll out 370 zero emission trucks, and a further £2.4 million to pioneer green tech through the Freight Innovation Fund, as we work closely with the sector to create new jobs, grow the economy and reach net zero by 2050.”
Jesse Norman MP, Decarbonisation Minister

Find out more and apply for the Freight Innovation Fund Accelerator here.

Read more about the Catapult’s work on the ZERFD programme here.