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.
Impact of TRIG
Projects funded

Through both open and targeted funding calls, TRIGs have supported SMEs and universities to increase the security of our borders and critical infrastructure; decarbonise the transport system and investigate how public transport services can best recover from the impact of COVID-19.

The TRIG: Drones programme seeks to address public opinion concerns relating to the safety and effectiveness of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) by facilitating their integration into UK airspace, while TRIG: Accessibility is supporting five suppliers who are improving transport services for disabled passengers.

It is the unique relationship between the DfT and Connected Places Catapult that makes TRIG such a success. While TRIG bolster’s R&D capability like a traditional research and innovation grant, added value is delivered through a comprehensive programme of commercial support. Following a thorough assessment of the business needs of each organisation, we ensure that they receive the right market and policy insights, commercial introductions and receive support to accelerate the commercialisation of their research and technology.

TRIG is open to all businesses and academic institutions who are seeking funding to test the art of the possible by unearthing brand new ideas and concepts that can start on their journey to reach the market.


  • 100% grants for SMEs and academic institutions
  • Oversight is provided by the DfT Office for Science and Chief Scientific Adviser
  • The scheme builds links with DfT Officials to help you understand how your ideas fit into Government’s priorities
  • Connected Places Catapult provides follow-on and wrap-around support, including the chance to enter our SME development programme
  • The scheme provides the opportunity to take part in DfT and Catapult run events
  • TRIG helps you build the right network to get your research applied in practice / to the market


  • To gain insight into the innovation landscape​
  • To raise awareness of DfT’s role as a supporter and enabler of innovation​
  • To access to the Catapult’s technical capabilities and understanding of markets ​
  • To help shape emerging technologies​ towards more beneficial outcomes
  • To help innovative technology​ succeed in procurement processes
  • To focus innovation funding on DfT challenges
  • To embed a culture of innovation sponsor teams and build science capability

Find out more about our TRIG programme.



The TRIG: Security (also known as S-TRIG) Programme ran from September 2020 to March 2021 and was designed to tackle some of the future challenges that could arise within national security in the UK. A total of 18 projects from 13 organisations were successful in securing up to £30,000 to conduct research and technological development projects. All of our organisations completed a case study at the end of the programme, detailing their major findings and next steps in terms of commercialisation. You can read all 18 case studies in more detail below.

Download Case Studies

News and Insights

Security Technology Research and Innovation Grants (S-TRIG) – Weisi Guo, Cranfield University
£1.95m will fund 51 projects to improve the UK’s transport system 
Department for Transport’s Drone Pathfinder Catalyst programme leaves promising legacy for UK commercial drone use
Transport Research and Innovation Grants 2021 programme launched, with over 50 awards available
Winners announced for the Zero Emission Flight programme.
We are proud to announce the 15 winning projects that will be recipients of the Department for Transport’s latest Transport Research and Innovation Grant programme – TRIG: Zero Emission Flight, which is being delivered by Connected Places Catapult. This programme is part of the wider Zero Emissions Flight Infrastructure project, which will identify the opportunities […]
TRIG: Accessibility winners announced
Zero Emission Flight Competition Launched
The Government committed in the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution to invest in R&D into the infrastructure upgrades required at UK airports to incorporate battery and hydrogen-powered aircraft into their day-to-day operations. Funding will be available to support cutting edge research and development work to help build the UK airports and airfields […]
Winners announced for the Drones Transport Research and Innovation Grants Programme
Connected Places Catapult is delighted to announce six new research and innovation projects through the 2021 Drones Transport Research and Innovation Grants (TRIG: Drones) programme. The Transport Research and Innovation Grants (TRIG) Programme has been running for a number of years, but this is the first year that the Department for Transport (DfT) has invested […]
Drone-Technology Research and Innovation Grants Programme launched
The Connected Places Catapult is proud to be delivering the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Drone-Technology Research and Innovation Grants ( D-TRIG ) Programme. D-TRIG will award grants of £30k to enable up to six SMEs to undertake early-stage research and development studies to explore how to integrate drones into UK airspace. The D-TRIG programme will […]
Winners announced for the seventh year of Transport-Technology Research and Innovation Grants Programme