Yesterday, the Geospatial Commission in partnership with Innovate UK announced their 28 winners of the £2M transport location data competition. And Rural Technologies Ltd is one of the winners with its MERGeS project.
What’s the Competition About?
The competition looks at how location data can spark innovation and support the future of mobility for the UK. Smarter mobility solutions, underpinned by location data, will enable us to make the most of our transport networks by boosting capacity, reducing environmental impacts and decreasing travel times.
Its aim is to develop feasibility studies to help create geospatial solutions to our transport challenges and support the future of mobility across the themes of:
- Mobility as a service - to help better integration of transport types.
- Active travel - creating safer ways to enable active travel.
- Supply chains - helping better distribution, storage and delivery.
- Boosting capacity - increasing efficiency of transport networks.
Why is this Important?
Minister for the Cabinet Office, Lord True CBE, identified the economic potential of these feasibility projects. They “will help the government unlock £2B of economic value in our transport sector to improve services, enabling the efficient delivery of new networks and transport corridors connecting people to the jobs they need, the goods and services they want, and the places they want to go”.
While Transport Minister Rachel Maclean focused on the future “From creating safer ways for people to travel, to improving our supply chains and delivery, data is key for innovation in transport to prosper. I’m excited to see how the winners of this competition can change how we travel in the future, making our journeys easier, cleaner and more efficient.”
InnovateUK’s Deputy Executive Chair and Chief Business Officer, Simon Edmunds, added “There is clear demand for innovative geospatial technologies to solve transport challenges and we are using the proven Small Business Research Initiative process to bring together challenge owners and innovators to deliver novel solutions. We had a very high response to the competition which was staggering and demonstrates the appetite for innovation in this area.”
Andrew Callard MD of Rural Technologies said: “We’re delighted to have won this bid. MaaS is a critical concept to get to net-zero carbon in time. Yet, it is difficult to apply in rural areas.
While the countryside is a hive of economic activity across all sectors, it faces major obstacles of inflexible supply and demand for transport. This is exacerbated by siloed thinking not integrated into customer-first solutions from operators; and the consumer presumption to have their own petrol/diesel cars.
The MERGeS project starts with geospatial innovation pragmatically applied for rurally-based users. It brings together some key partners with real knowledge and insight. We congratulate our fellow-winners and wish them success over the next 3 months.”