Transport Research and Innovation Collaboration

Working together to achieve our strategic goals through science, research and innovation

Since 2013 the Department for Transport (DfT) and Connected Places Catapult have worked closely together to deliver innovation into the UK transport system.

The collaboration between the Connected Places Catapult and the DfT delivers projects and programmes that respond to the innovation challenges that both organisations face in delivering their strategic priorities. Projects are diverse in focus, duration and budget and can also help DfT to face tricky cross-departmental challenges such as enabling drone operations and digital infrastructure asset management. DfT’s Office for Science manages the collaboration with the Connected Places Catapult and administers a Grant Funding Agreement which supports project delivery, with  oversight from DfT’s Chief Scientific Adviser.

Delivering Impact 

Projects are scoped, designed, and delivered using a robust process involving close collaborative working practices between DfT and Connected Places Catapult. Each project is designed to make good use of the Connected Places Catapult’s core capabilities. The Collaboration aims for transport innovation to not only support DfT’s transport related policy goals but also CPC’s goals to support UK jobs and growth within the transport innovation ecosystem.

All projects sit in the cross-over between the strategic priorities of the DfT and the Connected Places Catapult and help build science and innovation capability in both organisation. For DfT, the collaboration is designed to complement capabilities available to DfT through its other partnerships and should not include work which can be contracted out to the market. The best projects make good use of the unique capabilities of Connected Places Catapult including:

  • Convening power 

Connected Places Catapult’s close working relationships with innovators allows stakeholders across the public and private sector to convene to address transport system challenges. Businesses big and small are confident to work with the Connected Places Catapult because they understand the Catapult’s neutral position, ability to work across Government policy areas and their mission to support UK jobs and growth.

  • Commercialisation focus 

The commercialisation of transport R&D drives benefits for UK PLC. Connected Places Catapult supports investment into businesses through innovation accelerators, R&D competitions and connecting small business with the innovation ambitions of key stakeholders including Highways England, HS2 and Network Rail.

  • Impartial Technical Expertise 

The Connected Places Catapult exploits its government funded business model to offer complete neutrality in how it delivers projects for the DfT. This is important when defining and delivering many types of R&D projects that address market failures or when supporting policy makers to create new market opportunities.

This webpage illustrates the breadth and depth of the projects undertaken through the collaboration and showcases how the collaboration between the Connected Places Catapult and the DfT drives innovation to create benefits for UK PLC

Events & Webinars

You can find our DfT related events and webinars, past and present here. If you missed a webinar you can usually find a recording on the event page.

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We have worked with the DfT on over 100 projects across multiple transport sectors including, road, rail, accessibility and more. To find out more about the projects click on the links below.
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Case Studies

Following the completion of a number of our DfT projects, here you can find the main outcomes and successes of these innovative projects.
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News & Announcements

You can find out about news, announcements and resources here relating to our work with the DfT.

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Transport Research and Innovation Grants

The DfT’s Transport Research and Innovation Grants (TRIG) bridge the early-stage, proof-of-concept funding gap in transport innovation, where small investments can de-risk emerging solutions.
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You can find out about current and past opportunities with the DfT on our Opportunity page.
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