The UK government’s Department for Transport (DfT) has launched a new fund worth £7m to help small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) develop greener and more efficient freight solutions.
The money will be made available to firms over a three-year period.
This follows the announcement of a similar fund in December last year, which offered close to £2m to start-ups for the development of new transport technologies.
Some of the benefits this scheme could unlock include cleaner air, reduced traffic, the creation of UK jobs and increased efficiency in goods transportation, the government has said.
Up to 36 SMEs will be able to avail of the Freight Innovation Fund (FIF). Successful applicants will then partner with large organisations across the industry to create innovative solutions to develop technology to make freight more efficient, resilient and sustainable.
DfT hopes to support the development of solutions to target three key areas, which it sees as problematic for the sector: a lack of large-scale cross-industry data collection and sharing; difficulties in inter-modal transport; and inefficiency in freight distribution.
Richard Holden, roads minister, said: “Our freight industry is vital to underpinning the economy and keeps Britain moving, so it is crucial we invest in new innovations to make it greener and quicker.
“This fund will accelerate new ideas and technologies, helping to develop a future pipeline of innovations that can be rolled out to create jobs and allow everyone to get their goods faster and easier.”
The FIF is part of the government’s long-term Future of Freight plan, which was established to overcome challenges, support innovation and decarbonise the industry.