The UK is pumping cold cash into green freight with a new £7m technology fund

On Monday, the UK government launched a £7 million technology fund to decarbonise the freight industry and improve transport links.

Over the course of three years, the Freight Innovation Fund (FIF) will go to up to 36 SMEs to develop innovative technologies that can make industrial transportation more “efficient”, “resilient” and “greener”.

“Every year in the UK we move 1.6 billion tonnes of freight using many different transport modes, and it has never been faster or easier,” said Nicola Yates OBE, CEO of Connected Places Catapult – the government’s innovation accelerator – said in the accompanying press release. “The cargo sector is a huge contributor to our economy and contributes significantly to domestic carbon emissions,” she added.

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The fund will support the development of ideas and associated technology that will primarily address three persistent problems in the freight sector:

  1. The lack of large-scale, cross-industry data collection and exchange between different modes of freight transport (such as road, rail and sea), which could promote efficiency and coordination.
  2. Problems in intermodal transport and ways to improve the division of large shipments into smaller ones, which could reduce emissions and traffic.
  3. Cargo distribution improvements in ports for different modes of transport that can have a positive ripple effect on travel predictability, planning and efficiency.

The FIF is delivered to SMEs by Delivered by Connected Places Catapult, giving them access to technical and business support from the organization.

The selected SMEs will also benefit from a Freight Innovation Fund Accelerator, which will support innovators and help them access private investment, as well as a Freight Innovation Cluster — a community of industry innovators organizing networking events and activities.

“Our freight industry is vital in supporting the economy and keeping Britain moving, so it is vital that we invest in new innovations to make it greener and faster,” said Roads Minister Richard Holden. noted. “This fund will accelerate new ideas and technologies and help develop a future pipeline of innovations that can be rolled out to create jobs and enable everyone to get their goods faster and more easily.”

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