Tech-focused transport start-ups, inc e-Bike firms, can bid for £1 m fund

The Department for Transport is making almost £1 million (£960,000) available for entrepreneurs and innovators pioneering new ways of creating a better transport system.

Bids are invited to take a share (up to £30,000 for each project) of the Transport-Technology Research and Innovation Grant (T-TRIG).

The competition has run previously and has benefited the cycling industry – e-Bike firm FLIT has been a previous recipient of the T-TRIG funding.

FLIT MD and co-founder Alex Murray said: “Early support from the Department for Transport was crucial for getting our first e-bike off the ground. The grant allowed us to build our first prototype with a specialist in Essex. We learnt an enormous amount from this process, and these lessons have carried over to the FLIT-16, the first folding e-bike that we successfully launched through a crowdfunding campaign in the summer of 2019.”

The DfT was keen to note investment from the fund has often been a precursor to funding from private investors – £25 million of additional investment has been secured on successful projects awarded funding since the scheme began.

Notably, this year’s comp has three themed elements: Decarbonisation, Age-friendly and Accessible Transport, and Potholes and Resilient Infrastructure. Cycling projects could tick most of those boxes and the potential for boosting accessibility via the fund is worth noting, not least as the DfT’s Inclusive Transport Strategy pledges to develop the bicycle’s role as a mobility aid.