SBRI: using geospatial data to solve transport challenges, phase 1

Key Features

Organisations can apply for a share of up to £2 million, inclusive of VAT, to develop feasibility studies for one of the themed challenges.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £2 million

Opens: 29th Sep 2020

Closes: 4th Nov 2020

! This scheme is now closed


This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by the Geospatial Commission, part of the Cabinet Office. The aim of this competition is to identify innovative geospatial solutions to current transport challenges and enable the future of mobility.

This is phase 1 of a potential 2-phase competition. A decision to proceed with phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from phase 1. Only successful applicants from phase 1 will be able to apply to take part in phase 2.


The aim of this competition is to identify innovative geospatial solutions to current transport challenges and enable the future of mobility within specific themes.

Your project must:

  • provide an initial assessment of user requirements
  • demonstrate economic, social and/or environmental value
  • demonstrate an approach that is novel or innovative for the UK, or an innovative approach that is scalable to new contexts
  • demonstrate a credible and practical route to market, so your application must include a plan to commercialise your results
  • identify a potential public sector lead customer or challenge owner for your solution

A matching service to pair solution providers with a strategic or lead customer is provided on the Transport Location Data SBRI Innovation Competition Marketplace.

Your project must demonstrate an application of geospatial data or technology (or both), such as:

  • earth observation and satellite-derived data
  • artificial intelligence or machine learning algorithms applied to spatial datasets
  • internet of things (IoT) sensors capturing spatial information
  • surveying, 3D laser scanning or spatial imaging
  • advanced geographic information systems analysis or geovisualisation and environment modelling

Your application must focus on at least one of the themes set out here.

You must clearly identify the primary theme for assessment purposes. Your solution can cover several themes but will be assessed against the selected primary theme.

Theme 1: mobility as a service

Overcoming siloed transport networks by enabling more seamless and accessible integration of transport modes.

Theme 2: active travel

Mitigating safety risks to promote active travel.

Theme 3: supply chains

Tackling logistical challenges including planning distribution networks and routing, optimising storage and warehousing, and last-mile delivery to reduce freight transport costs.

Theme 4: increasing capacity

Managing over and under-capacity to increase efficiency of our transport networks without compromising safety.


This competition will not fund projects that:

  • do not demonstrate an application of geospatial data and/or technology
  • do not demonstrate that they respond to one of the 4 themes
  • exceed £75,000 inclusive of VAT for the phase 1 activity
  • do not identify a public sector organisation to act as a potential lead customer or challenge owner


To lead a project, you can:

  • be an organisation of any size
  • work alone or with other organisations

Contracts will be awarded only to a single legal entity. However, if you can justify subcontracting components of the work, you can employ specialist consultants or advisers. This work will still be the responsibility of the main contractor.

Funding Costs

A total of up to £2 million, inclusive of VAT, is allocated to phase 1.

The phase 1 feasibility study R&D contracts will be up to £75,000, (this is inclusive of VAT where applicable), for each project and with a duration of up to 12 weeks. This competition is expected to fund up to 30 projects.

Projects are expected to start by 4 January, end by 31 March 2021 and can last up to 12 weeks.

Your application must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively to R&D services, including solution exploration and design. R&D can also include prototyping and field-testing the product or service. This lets you incorporate the results of your exploration and design, and demonstrate that you can produce in quantity to acceptable quality standards.

R&D does not include:

  • commercial development activities such as quantity production
  • supply to establish commercial viability or to recover R&D costs
  • integration, customisation or incremental adaptations and improvements to existing products or processes