nnovate UK has launched a new programme to search for entrepreneurs and start-ups to help ease public transport congestion in London.
Launched in collaboration with Transport for London (TfL), IC tomorrow will offer £140,000 funding and partnerships with TfL, Centro, Clear Channel Outdoor and Atkins, to help innovators explore the themes of engaging spaces, active citizenship and urban travel.
Each of the four winning entrepreneurs will receive up to £35k in funding, and will also be mentored and promoted to help bring their technologies to market, while retaining 100% of their IP.
The contest seeks innovative uses of TfL’s data about the transport network, as well as interesting ways to best present this data to passengers to help them decide how and when to travel, such as wearable technology or new forms of display.
The programme focuses on helping passengers navigate to emptier carriages at rush hour, decreasing journey time, and also quickly switch passengers between modes of transport in case of congestion.
IC tomorrow digital economy and programme manager lead technologist Matt Sansam said: “As the number of people choosing to live in cities around the world continues to rise, it is vital that we think about the future to make sure these urban spaces work to their full potential.
“Innovative digital technology has the power to provide solutions to ensure that our cities are effective and efficient for the users.
“This contest seeks out entrepreneurs and small businesses that can address some of the most pressing challenges our urban areas face.”
Winners will also receive additional support from the Future Cities Catapult and Peterborough City Council.
Last date for submission of applications is 24 November, and the shortlisted entries will be invited to a live pitch and question-and-answers session with a panel of judges.
The launch of trials for successful applicants is slated to take place in 2016.
More than 24 million journeys are made on London’s public transport network every day and approximately half-a-billion more passenger journeys are claimed to have taken place in 2014 compared with five years ago.