The United Kingdom’s Geospatial Commission has recently launched a competition that intends to support projects that demonstrate innovation with transport geospatial data. The call has up to £2 million to award to around 30 projects.
The Commission was initially established in 2018 with the aim of conceptualising the UK’s geospatial strategy, whilst coordinating public sector activity. It has recently released its strategy until 2025, which aims to have a “coherent national location data framework underpinning a flourishing digital society”.
The Commission works under the belief that mobility solutions created with the assistance of location data are essential to increase the capacity of transport networks, whilst also reducing their environmental impact. This competition is launched precisely to stimulate commercial innovation in geospatial solutions, making sure these benefits become a reality.
The competition focuses on four main areas, namely active travel, supply chains, increasing the efficiency of transport networks and mobility-as-a-service (MaaS). The call specifies several project typologies that can be awarded funding. These include better usage of kerbside space for deliveries, sensors to support safer transport, geospatial tools to inform investment in infrastructure and near-miss identification tools, amongst others.
The UK's Minister for Transport, Rachael Maclean, stated that “Data is key for innovation in transport to flourish. Whether helping manage our transport networks or rolling out connected autonomous vehicles, data is helping provide the new digital tools to change how we travel.”
Any private-sector organisation or consortium, from the UK or outside, can apply. However, projects are obliged to identify a UK public sector sponsor for each solution (i.e. a local authority). The contracts awarded in phase one will be up to the value of £75,000 with a duration of up to 12 weeks, followed by a second phase that is expected to follow for selected projects.
This competition aims to embolden innovative solutions to public sector challenges with a dedicated procurement route for small and medium enterprises that would otherwise not have access to funding opportunities.
Applications are open until 4 November 2020. More information can be found here.
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Article first published first at Cities Today on 5 October 2020