Transport Research and Innovation Grants

The Department for Transport’s (DfT) 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
Busy port scene with cargo ships, containers, trucks, and cranes at sunset.
Impact of TRIG
Projects funded
TRIG funding calls

01. TRIG Announcements

02. What is TRIG?

The Department for Transport (DfT), in partnership with Connected Places Catapult, offers Transport Research and Innovation Grants (TRIG) to fully fund proof-of-concept research projects in support of innovative ideas or concepts that facilitate a better transport system.

The TRIG Programme aims to:

  • Foster innovation to improve UK transport.
  • Generate growth in the transport sector.
  • Build links between policy teams in DfT and innovators.
  • While the competition encourages applications with innovative ideas across all areas of transport as part of our traditional open call, some grant funding gets ringfenced for projects addressing areas like COVID-19 Recovery and Resilient Transport Systems, Maritime Decarbonisation and Future of Freight challenges (as per the TRIG 2021 call).

Eligibility and scope

TRIG is open to SMEs, universities, and large businesses. The competition is designed to offer small amounts of funding via a simple and accessible application process that will suit innovators needing a cash injection for research and development work. 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).

TRIG is open to public, private and third sector organisations in addition to universities and research and technology organisations.

Mandatory requirements for entry:

  • Your organisation must have a UK registered 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

03. Why apply?

Funded innovation

Up to 100% funding to develop your innovation

DfT Collaboration

Gain insight from policy teams at the DfT

Business support

Support from Catapult experts and business coaches


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

Solution Showcase

Opportunities to pitch your technology to industry experts and senior representatives from the DfT

TRIG competitions are designed to de-risk the development of novel technology and will support the most promising and beneficial products as they launch within their intended markets.

Key features of TRIG:

  • It is 100% funded
  • Technical and commercial oversight is available from DfT, Connected Places Catapult and their partners
  • Participation in workshop activities with other projects and Government organisations is encouraged
  • Follow on support is available from the Connected Places Catapult, including the chance for SMEs participating to enter their SME development programme
  • The opportunity to take part in showcasing events designed to attract onward investment and collaboration

04. History of TRIG

05. Success stories

Read the Transport Research and Innovation Grants (TRIG) 2022 Cohort Project Outcomes

TRIG 2022 Compendium
File Type: pdfFile size: 4.4MB

06. News & updates

Results found
Electric cars charging
£1.3 million to back cutting-edge transport projects
A £1.3 million competition to transform the transport sector, grow the economy and inspire innovation has been launched today (17 April).
Maritime transports
Transport Research and Innovation Grants 2024
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.
A cargo ship, freight train, and plane transport goods at a busy shipping port, with containers, cranes, and other logistics equipment visible against a sunset sky, showcasing the latest in transport research and innovation.
Self-driving delivery boats to benefit from £1.8m future transport fund
A total of 41 of the UK’s most visionary organisations will share the Government’s £1.8m Transport Research and Innovation Grant for 2023.
A panel of seven people, six seated and one speaking while gesturing with a pen, are engaged in a discussion on stage about innovation technology, with a black curtain backdrop and a screen to the left.
Innovators urged to demonstrate true value of their technologies
Commercial challenges of accelerating innovation and winning contracts were topics of conversation at an event convened by Connected Places Catapult.
A group of ten people, some holding certificates, pose for a photo indoors at what appears to be an award ceremony or formal gathering for Transport Research & Innovation Grants.
Celebrating successful starts in developing transport innovation
Five awards for excellence have been handed out to innovators involved in the Transport Research & Innovation Grants programme.
A woman with curly hair, wearing a dark blazer and white blouse, smiles in front of a large jet engine.
Meet the Academic taking a holistic view on aviation’s route to net zero
Converting aircraft to run on cleaner fuels will certainly help the aviation sector get closer to net zero, but airport operators and countries around the world must also make binding commitments to more sustainable infrastructure, says Professor Nazmiye Ozkan.
A rail yard at dusk showing multiple freight trains on parallel tracks, with illuminated lights and distant hills in the background.
3Squared: Filling spare capacity on freight trains
Hundreds of promising start-up companies and university teams have received funding through the Transport Research and Innovation Grants programme in recent years. In the fourth of a series of profiles about grant recipients finding success, we speak to Jason Durk, principal consultant of rail software firm 3Squared.
A woman in a blue blazer leans on a metal railing inside an industrial facility, with machinery and equipment visible in the background.
Meet the academic detecting bridge defects using an instrumented train
Efforts by a senior lecturer at the University of Surrey to analyse complex data generated by a measurement train could help to improve structural engineers’ understanding of when bridges need attention.