Transport Research
and Innovation Grants 2024

Applications closed

About TRIG

Transport Research and Innovation Grants (TRIG) provide early-stage funding for innovations in science, engineering, or technology delivered by The Department for Transport’s (DfT) project delivery partner, Connected Places Catapult. TRIG is open to any UK organisation to support proof-of-concept projects that could lead to the development of successful new transport research products, processes, or services. TRIG is designed to support organisations by providing easily accessible grants, alumni, and wrap-around support from Connected Places Catapult to bring innovations closer to the market. The programme also provides a collaborative space for innovators, including academics, SMEs, and large businesses, to work with DfT’s policy teams on realising shared goals. Since 2014, over £12 million has been awarded to 400+ projects. 

TRIG aims to: 

  • Stimulate the development of new technology solutions to DfT challenges.  
  • Provide innovators with support to try out new ideas – to show early promise; or fail fast.  
  • Join up innovators with DfT colleagues in a safe setting and allow them to learn together. 
  • Help create future leaders in transport, whilst driving jobs and growth. 

For TRIG 2024, DfT will offer innovators grants of up to £45k across four separate challenge areas, in addition to an Open Call challenge to undertake early stage feasibility studies.


Under the open call, the DfT is seeking innovative ideas that have the potential to address a UK transport challenge, across all modes and technology areas. It should be noted that although the open call is available for solutions to all transport challenges, applicants should consider their proposals within the context of DfT’s priorities and innovation needs. There are four other calls within the 2024 programme, as detailed below. 

Application Support Webinar

Connected Places Catapult and the DfT recently held a TRIG application support & information webinar. This webinar provided further information about the programme, offered application support and guidance, and offered the opportunity to ask any questions. Watch the webinar below, and access the presentation here.

Drop in sessions

On 9 May at 13:00, we are hosting a drop in session to give you more information and to ask any questions on budget and finances. On 15 May at 10:00, we are hosting a second drop in session for general application support.

Register here

The Challenges

Challenge 1:
Open Call

£45k Grants Available

Any science or technology that may contribute to improving the transport system will be considered for the Open Call. This could include investigating equality of access to transport services for all users, or the performance of a new low carbon fuel. Applicants with new ways of exploiting datasets to improve services, or tools that could increase the safety of women using public transport, or encourage modal shift and active travel are also invited to submit their ideas.

Challenge 2:
Local Transport Decarbonisation

£45k Grants Available

Innovative technologies and processes with the potential to accelerate local transport decarbonisation across the UK are welcome, especially those taking a place-based approach and demonstrating an understanding of the specific needs of a local area. 

Projects could include mobility hubs, initiatives that support communities to make greener transport choices and tools to address challenges faced by rural areas. Areas of interest may include Mobility as a Service, shared mobility solutions and ways of supporting businesses to reduce their transport emissions.  

Challenge 3:
Critical and Emerging Technologies

£45k Grants Available

The scope for this call is not limited to a particular transport mode or outcome, but all projects must have a transport focus and project types could include at least one of the following principal areas of interest: AI in transport; Resilient and novel Position Navigation and Timing Technologies, Digital Connectivity and Sensors, Engineering Biology, Novel use of drones on the transport system, Pathway to personal air mobility, Pathway to smart infrastructure, Digital Twins.

Challenge 4:
Nation-Specific Transport Solutions

£45k Grants Available

The Department is seeking innovative technologies and approaches that have the potential to improve connectivity and reduce emissions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. With limited funding options available, we need to work collaboratively with partners to deliver creative solutions to these challenges. Projects within this challenge should take a place-based approach, demonstrating an understanding of local, regional and national needs. Applicants should set out how the challenge they are seeking to tackle is particularly problematic in, or unique to, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. If the challenge is shared, to varying degrees, with other parts of the UK, applicants should consider how and where their project might have broader applications.

Challenge 5:
Maritime Decarbonisation

Pioneer of Belfast Artemis eFoiler® 100% Electric Foiling Workboat, by Artemis Technologies

£45k Grants Available

Clean maritime solutions that are innovative, promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from maritime and support the transition to net zero by 2050 are invited to be put forward. Projects could focus on low and zero emission fuels, energy sources and vessel technologies; landside infrastructure and energy efficient measures to allow their uptake; and smart shipping technologies, automation and artificial intelligence that deliver indirect emissions savings for any size of vessel. 

For more details about the scope of the competition, including examples of the projects the DfT is looking to fund, please read the TRIG 2024 Grant Specification document found above.

Why apply?

Innovation Funding

Up to 100% funding to develop your innovation

DfT Collaboration

Gain insight from policy teams at DfT


Join a cohort of like-minded innovators, shaping ideas and exploring new opportunities

Business Support

Support from Connected Places Catapult covering a range of business areas including investment readiness

Solution Showcase

Opportunities to showcase your innovation projects to industry experts and representatives from DfT

Am I eligible for this programme?

TRIG is open to public, private and third sector organisations in addition to universities and research and technology organisations.
Mandatory requirements for entry:
  • Proposals should all prove an innovative concept, taking an idea typically from TRL 2 (basic research) to TRL 4 (proof of concept/small scale prototype)
  • Your organisation must have a UK registered company number and office
  • We will consider proposals from consortia. However, the lead applicant who will receive the funding must be identified
  • Applicants submitting more than one competition entry need to demonstrate the ability to deliver the projects concurrently

How to apply

These are the vital elements to focus on within your application: 

  • The Challenge – What challenge are you proposing to solve and how does it align to DfT strategies? 
  • The Solution – What is new about your idea, what is the key step change you are proposing to take that no-one else has done ? 
  • The Impact – How big could your innovation’s impact be on the economy / society etc.? What other changes will it enable; how much carbon could this save; how many jobs could this idea create?

Applications are now closed.

Key dates

Equality & Diversity

Equality, Diversity and inclusion are pivotal to addressing the challenges within our transport system. Therefore, we strongly encourage applications from underrepresented groups within the innovation space. 

We are committed to making our application process accessible to everyone. This includes providing support, in the form of reasonable adjustments, for people who have a disability or a long-term condition and face barriers applying to us.    

Applicants requiring assistance in completing the application or alternatives forms of accessing the application should contact the project team at as early as possible (at least 15 working days before the competition closes) during the open application process to allow for appropriate support and sufficient time for the completion of the application. 

Connected Places Catapult is collecting equality, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I) data as part of the application process to promote and ensure equality of access for the programmes it delivers. This data will help us monitor performance of efforts to promote ED&I in research and business innovation. All personal data will be processed in accordance with current UK data protection legislation, including the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR). 

Point of contact

If you have any question about the application, please contact our team on