Local Authority Transport Decarbonisation Accelerator

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The Department for Transport (DfT) is supporting the development of innovative solutions to decarbonise local transport systems. Through Connected Places Catapult, DfT are offering support to Local Authorities (LAs) and Subnational Transport Bodies (STBs) to build capacity and partner with businesses to support the implementation of low-carbon innovations within a local area.

This accelerator aims to find new and innovative solutions or suppliers that have the potential to reduce carbon and other harmful emissions from local transport networks. Applicants should demonstrate the consideration of a place-based approach and how the solution proposed best meets the needs and attributes of the selected area.

Am I eligible for this programme?

We are seeking LAs and STBs who:

  1. 1. Are based in the UK-wide and are self-defined as;
  • Urban
  • Rural
  • Mixed
  • Or a Sub-National Transport Body
  1. 2. Can identify the appropriate resource and capacity to support and be involved with the project, both from a procurement and operational perspective.
  2. 3. Have a challenge or idea to address through the programme.
  3. 4. Have challenge areas that align with their organisation’s objectives, be it formally or informally expressed.
  4. 5. Have senior leadership or senior-level support for the proposed activity.
  5. 6. Have a challenge that is not suited to existing procurement processes.

The term Local Authority includes, county councils, district councils, unitary authorities, metropolitan districts and London boroughs. Regional collaborations coordinated through bodies such as combined authorities are also eligible.

Application Support Webinar

We hosted an application support webinar on Tuesday 16 January. The webinar covered guidance on how to apply, information on the application process, and gave attendees the opportunity to ask any questions. You can watch the webinar below.

The Opportunity

The Department for Transport (DfT) is investing funding to help decarbonise local transport systems through innovative place-based solutions.

Connected Places Catapult is launching an accelerator programme that aims to address the challenges faced by LAs and STBs in embedding new transport innovations and support innovators to bring their solutions to market.

Funding of £20k per LA and STB over the 12-month programme is available to cover internal costs. Further funding for successful SMEs will also be made available.

Challenges faced by LAs and STBs are wide-ranging and include:

  • Understanding and assessing the most appropriate innovations for their decarbonisation needs,
  • Developing awareness of how to procure suitable technologies and innovations,
  • Embedding the learning and benefits from demonstrator activity into full-scale adoption

The accelerator will enable LAs and STBs to collaborate with SMEs. It will support SMEs to commercialise their innovations and respond to DfT and LA and STB priorities.

Benefits for LAs and STBs include:

  • Building new supply chains with innovative SMEs,
  • Creating new processes for buying innovation in organisations subject to public procurement rules,
  • Enabling business growth through accessible and clearer procurement processes,
  • Enabling innovation in the marketplace, especially in transport decarbonisation,
  • Building new skills within the supply chain,
  • Increased confidence in ‘action-based’ activity and ‘test and buy’ approaches.

As part of the offering, we will provide the chosen LAs and STBs with procurement specialist support which will enable trialling and scaling (up to a value) any successful innovative ideas.  

Whilst our support could involve developing documentation, LAs will need to work closely with their Procurement teams, so their involvement would be required. 


By applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. Up to four eligible LAs and STBs, who meet the criteria set out in the application process, will be selected.

Selection CriteriaFAQs

The Programme

This programme will be run in two stages, as detailed below.

  1. 1. Challenge Definition | 3 months – In stage one (between January and March), Connected Places Catapult will work with selected LAs and STBs to agree the challenges they want to address, in addition to the commercial and business case. This will be achieved by:
  • Refining the challenge statements,
  • Identifying how the challenge could be funded as ‘business as usual’,
  • Defining a procurement and commercial processes.
  1. 2. Programme Delivery | 6 months – In stage two, up to eight SMEs will be selected to deliver their solutions via trials in partnership with the LAs and STBs.

Once each challenge area is defined, these will be advertised within an open call to potential innovators via Connected Places Catapult’s website. Connected Places Catapult in partnership with selected LAs and STBs will then select up to eight innovative SMEs (two per Local Authority) to work with for the remainder of the programme.

A needs-led programme of commercial and procurement support for the LAs, STBs and SMEs will then span the duration of the programme. The focus of this support will be on processes, procurement, commercial and business cases to enable the integration of innovation. The project teams will engage collaboratively in ‘action-based’ activities, examining their barriers to procurement with a view to increase ‘test and buy’.

Contact the team

If you have any questions about the programme and application, please contact Agathe Parois agathe.parois@cp.catapult.org.uk