First winners of Freight Innovation Fund Accelerator announced

The Freight Innovation Fund (FIF) was launched in January 2023 to help small and medium-sized enterprises to develop greener and more efficient solutions for the movement of freight.

Emissions from freight is a pressing issue given that the UK transports 1.6bn tonnes of it each year. Transport is the biggest emitter of carbon in the UK and freight transport is responsible for a third of that. 

Funded by the Department for Transport and delivered by Connected Places Catapult, the FIF programme aims to identify and trial new products and services coming to market in the freight sector. 

The Freight Innovation Fund Accelerator will have three open calls for applications, with those successful joining a six month programme, where they will each have the opportunity to access up to £150,000 of grant funding to trial their solutions with industry partners.  

Winners from this round of applications include Skyports who will create an intermodal transport hub in Orkney, Scotland to improve island-to-island connectivity using drones to make deliveries, conduct surveys and monitoring.

Otaski Energy Solutions and Syselek Ltd are trialing a cost and energy-efficient smart charge and bi-directional converter, which allows electric vehicles to charge from any power grid source and discharge energy back to the grid or storage. 

RoboK are looking to use artificial intelligence system to generate insights from existing video data, such as CCTV, to provide analysis on the likes of capacity and asset movement in real time to reduce costly delays and inefficiencies. 

Electric Assisted Vehicles are developing a 4-wheel, electrically assisted lightweight delivery vehicle as an alternative to petrol and diesel vans.

Roads Minister Richard Holden said of the update: ‘Whether it’s drones for deliveries on remote islands or zero emission buggies – we want to invest in future technology that could transform how we move goods around the country while reducing emissions and traffic and creating skilled jobs.’


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