Passenger Terminal Expo 2024

The world’s leading airport design and operations show.

When and where?

Messe Frankfurt, Germany
16th - 18th April 2024
8:30am - 6:00pm

We are delighted to partner with British Aviation Group (BAG) to be present at their exhibition stand and talk about our work around the Passenger Experience programme, Digital Aviation and programmes related to Air Mobility including the Drone Pathfinder Catalyst programme. 

Andrew Chadwick, Ecosystem Director Air Mobility & Airports together with our wider team working on above programmes will  join the the event. If you are attending the Expo, make sure to pay the team a visit.


Zero-Emission Road Freight

Connected Places Catapult is helping to accelerate the transition to zero-emission road freight.

Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) are vital to industry and represent the backbone of trade and commerce worldwide. They are responsible for ensuring we have access to food, medicines, and goods of all kinds.

Almost 90% of domestic goods transported in the UK in 2022 were moved by road – the vast majority of which by heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). These vehicles currently produce approximately 19% of all UK domestic transport greenhouse gas emissions. By 2050, this must be reduced to zero, in line with the UK Government’s Net Zero Strategy.

Connected Places Catapult is supporting Innovate UK and the Department for Transport with the Zero-Emission HGVs & Infrastructure Demonstration programme, which represents a public investment of up to £200 million, match-funded by industry. The programme will see the launch of the first large (40+ tonne) zero-emission HGVs in significant numbers, together with supporting infrastructure, which will enable freight operators to determine the suitability of the new technology for their operations. Public-facing battery-electric charging stations and hydrogen refuelling stations will enable HGVs to go beyond ‘back to base’ operations.

Further information regarding the programme can be found here and a full list of the winning consortia partners has been published here.

Together with BSI, Connected Places Catapult is supporting partners involved in the Innovate UK-funded demonstrations and stakeholders in the wider zero-emission HGV ecosystem.

There are four strands to our DfT-funded project.

Standards – in partnership with BSI

Standards are crucial in ensuring zero-emission HGVs can roll out in an efficient and safe manner, with interoperability embedded from the start, and to create a market that delivers on required outcomes. Through the standards work, in partnership with BSI, we have formed a Standards Advisory Group for zero-emission road freight that will provide the decision making and governance for the standards development work. Three ‘flex’ standards, which are well suited to fast-moving areas of innovation, will be developed through the project.

You can see the latest on our standards work, here.

Commercial and Investment Strategy

The public / private investment through the programme is crucial in helping to bring stakeholders together and roll out the initial vehicles and infrastructure, but it is just a starting point. Much more finance will be needed to fully transition the 600,000 HGVs across the UK and the millions around the world. These investments will ultimately be offset by reduced total cost of ownership with lower fuel costs, increased driver satisfaction and improved sustainability as we move towards circular supply chains. We are speaking to the UK-based and international investor ecosystem to create a long-term and sustainable programme of decarbonisation. We intend to create a trade and investment bridge for the programme, raise the profile of UK-led activities to local and international markets and position the UK as a thought leader and green partner of choice.

Safety and Security Best Practice

Safety is top of the agenda when developing zero-emission demonstrations of HGVs. We are seeking industry consensus on best practice in terms of safety and security to inform both demonstrations and longer term roll out of vehicles and infrastructure.  Standards and guidance documents must work together with regulations to ensure safe practices are embedded as existing industries transition and new industries are formed.

Our best practice document, to be published in December 2023, will consider the operation, refuelling/charging, maintenance, and recovery of the vehicles. The focus is on new hazards that are novel to heavy duty battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Infrastructure Planning Best Practice

Planning and regulatory hurdles are a key barrier to wide-scale infrastructure deployment for zero emission HGVs.  In December 2023, we will publish a reference document for stakeholders involved in planning, design and roll out of battery-electric charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure.

We will consider the overall system of HGV charging / refuelling, and the decisions needed from the earliest concept stage through to operations. Our scope includes barriers, existing and emerging guidance, charging/refuelling location, the planning and regulatory landscape, funding and case studies.

Joined Up Thinking

Our subject areas overlap considerably. For example, one of the biggest safety concerns is allocating sufficient space for public HGV refuelling/recharging facilities, which has an impact on the financing of the site and on the infrastructure planning. We will consider these interdependencies in our reporting, and would welcome further discussion with other sectors.

“Decarbonisation across all sectors is the defining challenge of the next three decades, and will be the key driver of innovation and change. At Connected Places Catapult, we’re proud to be pushing this agenda forwards, not just for HGVs with our zero-emission road freight project, but across transport modes.”
Professor Henry Tse, Director of New Mobility Technologies, Connected Places Catapult

How do I get involved?

If you’d like to find out more, please email us at

You can also register for our showcase event, the Connected Places Summit, in March 2024, which will include the latest on zero-emission road freight activities.

Phase 1 reports

These reports were produced in previous phases of the zero-emission road freight programme. Some material is currently being updated, as described above.

ZERFT Phase 1 – Standards landscape and gap analysis – January 2022
File Type: pdfFile size: 4.7MB
ZERFT Phase 1 – Market opportunity mapping – March 2022
File Type: pdfFile size: 2.4MB
ZERFT Phase 1 – Regulation and safety roadmap – March 2022
File Type: pdfFile size: 17.9MB
ZERFT Phase 1 – Summary of Concept Safety Analysis – March 2022
File Type: pdfFile size: 17.6MB
ZERFT Phase 1 – Data objectives and data stakeholder mapping – March 2022
File Type: pdfFile size: 2.0MB
ZERFT Phase 1 – Comparison of Transport Decarbonisation projects – March 2022
File Type: pdfFile size: 4.9MB

Innovation Zero 2024

The UK's largest net-zero congress

When and where?

Olympia London
30th - 1st May 2024
9:00am - 5:00pm

We are delighted to once again participate in Innovation Zero, and we’re contributing to a number of sessions, including: 

Andrew Chadwick, Ecosystem Director, Air Mobility & Airports, joining the Fuelling Flight: Hydrogen session on 1 May at 11:45.

Alison Young, Head of Global Investment, joining the session on Funding the Automotive Transformation, on 1 May at 12:25 in the Transport & Mobility Forum.


Connected North 2024

Delivering the North's Connected Future

When and where?

Manchester Central
23rd - 24th April 2024
9:00am - 5:00pm

We are hosting a Digital Twin Hub session on Day 1, 22 April at 2pm, titled ‘Digital twins driving innovation in the North – Explore innovative projects that look to catapult the North of the UK into a bright digital future’. Join Nury Moreira, Community Manager of Digital Twin Hub, and other speakers for an inspiring conversation.


UKREiiF 2024

The UK's Real Estate Investment & Infrastructure Forum

When and where?

21st - 23rd May 2024
9:00am - 5:00pm

This year, we are proud to host our own Pavilion, a place designed to showcase real innovation, and provide opportunities to connect with thought leaders, and UK and global peers.

To review our full Agenda of sessions and activities taking place over the three days and plan your visit, please head to the UKREiiF website > Programme tab > Download Programme or > Click on the Connected Places Catapult Pavilion dot to browse online.

Make sure to visit our Pavilion in Pavilion Square, we look forward to connecting with you in Leeds! 


Hydrogen Innovation Initiative Demonstration 23-24

Companies can apply for up to £50k to trial technology related to the production, conversion, distribution or end use of hydrogen

The Opportunity

Hydrogen presents a huge opportunity for UK to build new supply chains, targeting the $2.5trillion global hydrogen market by 2050.

The Hydrogen Innovation Initiative (HII) has been created as a strategic national programme to make hydrogen work for the UK and ensure that we seize this opportunity.

Connected Places Catapult, acting as a partner of the HII, is looking to procure results from near term demonstrations, and has allocated a budget of up to £50,000 per project to contribute to the costs of the demonstration activities. In exchange, Connected Places Catapult and HII partners will be entitled to widely disseminate the results from the demonstration activities.

This high TRL demonstration must cover 2 or more of:

  • Hydrogen production
  • Hydrogen conversion
  • Hydrogen distribution
  • Hydrogen end use.

The demonstration needs to be in the latter stages of planning, with a consortium of funded and suitable partners already engaged. The demonstration activity and reporting should be complete by November 2024.

There will be a requirement for the applicant to submit a demonstration methodology and deliver an end of project report, which HII partners will publish, to help disseminate the learnings from the demonstration to the wider hydrogen supply chain. HII partners would encourage applicants to also articulate any specific requests for further support from HII partners which could support this demonstration (for example, developing material data sets in collaboration with this demonstration).


Your business must:

  • Have a UK-registered address
  • Be in the latter stages of planning a high TRL (5-7) hydrogen demonstrator.’
  • Be willing to attend regular online meetings with HII partners, and any final showcase of demonstration activities in person, to be discussed in due course.

Companies have until midday on 12 January 2024 to apply.

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please contact Raj Ragiwala.


Shaping the Future, Today

Shaping The Future, Today

Applications are now closed

Apply now

Future Focused Solutions for Climate Mitigation and Adaptation – Open Call and Investment Forum for UK and UAE Businesses

The COP28 – Net Zero Mitigation & Resilience Solutions for the UAE programme is seeking to develop long-term, business led research and innovation collaborations between UAE based investors and SMEs and the UK to address pivotal climate change mitigation and resilience challenges.  
Funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s Gulf Strategy Fund, this programme is responding to three opportunities outlined in the 2023 iteration of Dubai Future Foundation’s The Global 50 future opportunities report. The challenges have been chosen to create collaborations that merge local and UK expertise.  
We will work with Dubai Future Foundation and Expo City Dubai to offer UK and UAE SMEs the opportunity to connect and collaborate on solutions to three challenges focusing on minimising environmental risks, harnessing nature’s capacity to restore itself and radically changing ways of life by replacing the models that countries, communities and individuals live by. 
For each challenge, we will select 4 SMEs, two based in the UK and two based in UAE to showcase their solution to the challenge in Dubai at the end of March 2024. The selected companies will also present their business to a selected group of UAE based investors at an Investor Pitch Evening. Where appropriate and viable, the showcase presentations may be selected to be installed at Expo City Dubai, or other suitable venues, for a period of 3 months.

Application Support Webinar

We will host an application support webinar on 23 January.

This webinar will cover the background to the programme, the challenges it is aiming to address, how the programme will benefit SMEs, guidance on how to apply and information on the application process.

Register now

Key Dates

Programme Challenges

Learn more about the challenges here

The Dubai Future Foundation is at the forefront of creating innovation platforms that allow for ideas to take shape through strategic collaboration locally in Dubai and globally, shaping a better future.

Among the organisation’s initiatives, The Global 50 shares Dubai Future Foundation’s view of the future and outlines 50 opportunities for growth, prosperity and well-being. Some of these opportunities may be in their early days of exploration, some require reflection and some feel very far away.

Connected Places Catapult’s technology experts have chosen three specific challenges from the 2023 edition of The Global 50 which link to accelerating innovation in our cities and will allow us to explore specific ideas and initiatives that can bring positive long-term financial, environmental and societal outcomes.

1: What if the next wave of car technology innovation was in the wheels? 

A series of technological innovations in the wheels redefine the future of car transport – from maglev (magnetic levitation) solutions and drone-like technologies to the replacement of rubber in tyres and new ways of conceptualising the function of wheels on a car. 
We are particularly interested in sensor / AI driven solutions to optimising tyre and brake wear and reducing pollutants for EVs. 

Why it matters today: Tyres and brake systems produce large amounts of microplastics as by-products. Up to 100,000 tonnes of microplastics from tyres end up in the ocean each year and a further 40,000 tonnes of microplastics come from wear and tear on car brakes. With the average scrapped car tyre weighing 9 kg, the amount of microplastics discharged into the ocean is equivalent to 11 million tyres each year. Research suggests that nanoparticles generated from road traffic can cause harm, and increased road traffic is a major cause of high particle concentrations in polluted urban areas. Atmospheric particulate matter was recognised as the leading cause of 43,000 premature deaths in Europe by the European Environment Agency in 2015.

The opportunity: The transport landscape is changing. Imaginative new applications of drone or maglev (magnetic levitation) technology could be the future. For example, in one scenario, there could be hybrid vehicles that are capable of running on electricity or alternative fuels but that switch over to maglev mode when the infrastructure is available. This would prevent the release of nanoparticles of dust, plastic and minerals into the atmosphere, as well as reducing noise levels. Such solutions would make the roads cleaner, improving ecosystems and human health.

Replacing rubber tyres with new materials and new wheel and brake technologies can minimise wear and tear on both vehicles and road surfaces. When used safely, lower-friction – or even frictionless solutions, augmented by advanced machine intelligence and autonomous systems – can cut energy consumption, enabling electric vehicles to travel further.

Wheels could become multifunctional. Rethinking the functionality of wheels and tyres beyond simply transportation and carrying the load of the car could lead to the development of wheels that can generate energy, filter nanoparticles and absorb emissions, among other applications.

2: What if we could absorb greenhouse gas emissions and particulate matter on demand anywhere in the world?

Enabled by materials science, automation and advanced machine intelligence, emissions and particulate matter are absorbed on an as-needed basis, anywhere in the world, independent of technological capabilities available on hand. 

Why it matters today: On average, those living in the largest urban cities in the MENA region breathe in 10 times the level of pollutants in the air that the World Health Organization considers safe.

The opportunity: Clean air will one day be a critical need if climate change persists. Materials science, automation and advanced machine intelligence could contribute to the invention of a mobile emissions and particulate matter (PM) scrubber that could absorb carbon dioxide, other greenhouse gases and PM anywhere in the world. If this idea were scaled, scrubbers could be positioned at sea as offshore platforms to absorb emissions and PM. 

Mobile emissions and PM scrubbers could be standalone solutions powered by renewable sources of energy. Using advanced materials, they could efficiently absorb greenhouse gases and PM and either store them for later use or convert them into fuel and other non-harmful, possibly useful chemicals. 

3: What if deliveries went underground?

An AI-powered pneumatic tube system for city-wide delivery on demand that offers a completely integrated OnDemand delivery model reviving an old approach with the technological advances needed. 

The opportunity: The idea of a city-wide pneumatic tube system is not new – no longer operational because of high operational costs, the New York postal service was connected in 1897 through pipes that delivered letters and parcels around the city.  

New materials, new building techniques and automated, AI-powered distribution centres could offer completely integrated on-demand delivery models giving traction in reviving the former approach. Pneumatic tunnels (also called vacuum tunnels) embedded into the urban infrastructure to connect buildings and distribution nodes could offer ‘beyond-the-doorstep’ delivery solutions to hospitals and other critical services. With development costs integrated into zoning and real estate plans, the tunnel system could be run on a pay-per-use basis. 

Integrating small robotic distribution centres around cities would mean that packages could be electronically tagged for delivery to an address and loaded into a sealed pipe for instant dispatch. Buildings would be equipped with hatches where goods could be sent and received. Perfect traceability of goods from dispatch to delivery would be guaranteed, as the system would automatically track tagged goods via distributed ledger technology databases. 

What’s on offer to SMEs?

6 UK and 6 UAE companies will be selected to participate in this programme and benefit from tailored support from Connected Places Catapult experts, and funding leading up to the presentation of their solutions and investor pitches.

UK Based SMEs will be provided with financial assistance up to £10k in total value to develop their showcase presentations and cover the travel and accommodation for the trip to Dubai in March 2024.

UK SMEs will receive:

  • Workshops to prepare their showcase presentations.
  • Funding to create a showcase.
  • Bespoke support from Connected Places Catapult to prepare for investment pitches
  • A trip to Dubai which will include:
    • An Investment Summit
    • A Showcase Event
    • In-country networking and introductions

UAE SMEs will receive:

  • Bespoke support from the Connected Places Catapult to prepare for investment pitches.
  • A trip to Dubai which will include:
    • An Investment Summit
    • A Showcase Event
    • In-country networking and introductions
    • Excursions

Am I eligible for this programme?

UK SME eligibility criteria for UK organisations:

  • You must be a registered UK company.
  • You are ready and willing to collaborate and showcase your solution in the UAE.
  • You need to be export-ready, but no previous export experience is required.
  • The technology on which your solution (product or service) will be based should be TRL 3-4 and above, e.g., at proof of concept stage or above.
  • Desire to expand internationally.

UAE SME eligibility criteria:

  • You must be a registered organisation according to your national legislation.
  • You are ready and willing to collaborate and showcase your solution.
  • You need to be export-ready, but no previous export experience is required.
  • The technology on which your solution (product or service) will be based should be TRL 3-4 and above.
  • Desire to expand internationally.

How to apply

Please register through the link below. Applications close midnight 28 January 2024

Apply now

Supporting Documents

Competition ScopeSelection Criteria

Point of contact

If you have any questions about the programme and application, please contact:

Megan Ford, SME Ecosystem Support Officer,  

Application Support Webinar

We will host an application support webinar, with a date to be confirmed shortly.

This webinar will cover the background to the programme, the challenges it is aiming to address, how the programme will benefit SMEs, guidance on how to apply and information on the application process.


Carbon reduction champions shortlisted in National Highways programme

Innovative low carbon approaches to road construction and maintenance will receive funding and business support.
Group photo of Accelerator cohort

Seven companies have been selected to join a carbon reduction competition organised by National Highways and Connected Places Catapult.

Innovative ideas put forward to proceed to the second phase of the National Highways Accelerating Low Carbon Innovation Programme include a climbing robot that carries out structural inspections, ‘smart fibre’ plastic bridge beams that monitor structural performance and low carbon fencing materials.

Each shortlisted company will receive between £15,000 and £30,000 to develop their proposals in collaboration with National Highways and several Tier 1 suppliers. Connected Places Catapult will provide coaching, help with marketing strategy and investment support.

The seven companies and their ideas making it through to the next stage of the competition are:

Asset International Structures (Cwmbran) – Developing smart fibre reinforced plastic bridge beams that incorporate optical fibre, enabling structural performance monitoring in real time.

Circular11 (Ferndown) – Providing durable, low carbon fencing and acoustic insulation products; turning mixed low-grade plastic waste into composite material.

HausBots (Birmingham) – Delivering a series of structural inspections using a unique climbing and crawling robot fitted with inspection sensors.

Loopcycle (London) – Creation of a whole life carbon measurement and circular economy tool for use across highway estate assets.

Low Carbon Materials (Seaham) – Delivering a carbon negative aggregate for use in carbon neutral asphalt.

PRG (Scotland) (Hamilton) – Turning waste tyres into useful materials such as a bitumen-like substance for use in road construction and repairs.

Xeroc (London) ­­–­­ Recycling old concrete into new concrete, returning each component to its original form with as little contamination as possible.

Alex Weedon, Executive Director, Connected Places Catapult, SME Development and Academic Engagement said: “National Highways’ goal of achieving net zero emissions involves finding innovative solutions to support decarbonisation, particularly in the maintenance and construction of the strategic road network.

“Connected Places Catapult is proud to have been chosen as a delivery partner for this accelerator project. We look forward to supporting the SMEs in the development of their solutions, and turning bright ideas into commercial products and services.”
Alex Weedon, Executive Director, Connected Places Catapult, SME Development and Academic Engagement

National Highways aims for its maintenance and road construction activities to generate net zero emissions by 2040.

The competition set four challenges for innovative companies to address with their new ideas: alternative materials; decision making enablers for asset management and the whole life value of assets; enablers for the circular economy; and an open challenge.

“We want to speed up innovation within our sector and adopt new solutions. The innovation accelerator will help take potential solutions and drive them through the research and testing phases.”
Dr Joanna White, National Highways Roads Development Director
National Highways Accelerating Low Carbon Innovation Programme Cohort Brochure
File Type: pdfFile size: 20.5MB

Unlocking the value chain of shared electric two-wheelers in India

Helping to promote a shift towards shared micro-mobility, and highlighting the leading role which city governments can play by partnering with the private sector.

Connected Places Catapult has been funded by the UK Government via Innovate UK to support an Indian city to pilot and scale a shared electric micro-mobility (shared two wheel electric vehicle) solution and sustainable business model. 

Through this project we will collaborate with New Town, a planned satellite city within the Kolkata Metropolitan Area in West Bengal, and the New Town Kolkata Development Authority to design and deliver a pilot project which will demonstrate and refine a solution in partnership with the private sector. 


A greener approach to travel 

 Shared micro-mobility models are being adopted by cities across the world to shift trips to a greener mode of transport to help cities meet emissions reduction targets.  

A study in Paris estimated that shared e-bikes could reduce transport emissions in cities by 23 tonnes of CO2 in a month. In addition, these models offer the potential to improve both air quality and transport accessibility. 

In contrast to some private sector electric micro-mobility initiatives, the model we will develop will be designed to integrate with the city’s wider transport planning objectives. We will use a data-driven approach to ensure it serves the right areas of the city and target groups, and design the pilot to test and validate the operational and commercial model such that the solution can then be deployed at scale.  

The Catapult team along with locally based partners will focus on convening relevant stakeholders to help create solutions, and design a pilot scheme with a view to enabling it to be scaled up and be commercially self-sustaining. 

They will also look to design and implement a suitable means of data collection, and promote the innovative pilot to showcase its impact to the Indian government and its potential for deployment elsewhere. 


Contact the project team 

If you’d like to work with us or find out more, please email or  


UK – India Innovation for Net Zero: Exploring place-based bilateral partnerships

International collaboration can boost the power of places to deliver on net zero goals. A new partnership between the UK and India which involves Connected Places Catapult is hoping to achieve just that.

Specialists in the fields of science and technology from both the UK and India are coming together to make concerted progress in working towards net zero. Policymakers, research and development companies, start-up firms, investors and place leaders are all involved and have important roles to play.

The imperative to decarbonise is becoming ever more urgent. However the path to net zero will not be trodden alone, nation-by-nation, sector-by-sector, city-by-city. It will increasingly rely on innovation and the efforts of communities in districts, quarters, zones, clusters and hubs to share their learnings.

Connected Places Catapult is a partner in the UK-India Net Zero Centre Programme – a coalition of specialists from the two countries, along with Energy Systems Catapult and the Centre for Process Innovation. Together, they are working to harness the UK-India science and technology superpower partnership to accelerate the path to net zero.

As part of this, Connected Places Catapult investigated the scale of potential and the appetite for collaboration between UK and Indian cities. It identified potential pairings of innovative places with complimentary challenges and ambitions for decarbonisation.

Bilateral innovation to unlock opportunity

Primary challenges shared by the UK and India include industries that need to decarbonise, and built environment, transport and energy systems that must become greener and more efficient. Aligned to this, demand for more integrated approaches to planning infrastructure and land use is growing rapidly.

The UK and India share world-class expertise in science and technology, bold business leadership and ambitious cities seeking to drive action towards net zero. Both nations are committed to partner on investment, technology and joint leadership on climate and clean energy, set to grow in line with the India-UK Future Relations Roadmap 2030.

Building on this relationship, innovation partnerships between India and the UK offer huge promise to accelerate collaboration to meet net zero goals. We’ve explored a range of case studies that showcase best practice, including the West Midlands’ MIRA technology park which collaborated with the Hyderabad T-hub on battery and EV expertise.

Shared interests, challenges and opportunities are what fuels these kinds of international partnership projects, and the work between the UK and India serves as a leading example. Bringing both nations’ academic prowess on board is an important aspect of the initiative, with strong university links created to drive research and discovery on the topic of net zero.

Learning from Greater Manchester Region and Bengaluru

A Greater Manchester Region delegation visit to Bengaluru in March 2023 and a series of workshops represent another great example of the partnerships delivering benefit. This coalition was led by Connected Places Catapult in collaboration with The Business of Cities, Manchester India Partnership, and Global Business Inroads.

Through this engagement, several exciting opportunities were identified ranging from knowledge sharing on harnessing the power of hydrogen to innovation district partnerships.

Combining these learnings, a partnership model was designed to outline how place-based innovation collaborations can become both mutually beneficial and self-sustaining for city innovation ecosystems going forward.

The ambition is to build on these findings and unlock the scale of potential identified in a future phase of work. Through developing the Greater Manchester Region and Bengaluru partnership and engaging other high-potential pairings of innovation places, the programme hopes to demonstrate and scale the impact that can be achieved through international partnerships for net zero.

Contact the project team

If you are interested in the project or getting involved, please contact or



Innovation Twins Places driving a Net Zero Future
File Type: pdfFile size: 11.2MB
UK-India Partnership Design Report
File Type: pdfFile size: 5.5MB
UK-India Executive Summary Report
File Type: pdfFile size: 5.1MB