SBRI: Accessible solutions for disrupted journeys

Key Features

Organisations can apply for a share of £1 million, inclusive of VAT. This is to develop an accessible and inclusive focussed solution, physical or digital, to support transport users when a journey is disrupted.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £1 million

Opens: 19th Feb 2024

Closes: 3rd Apr 2024

! This scheme is now closed


This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by Innovate UK.


The aim of the competition is to develop an accessible and inclusive focussed solution, physical or digital, to support transport users when a journey is disrupted.

Your solution will provide an alternative option when a journey is disrupted, for users who may experience difficulties accessing and using the UK’s transport networks. It will enable them to continue their journeys in a safe and comfortable way.

Innovate UK encourage solutions which can be used across multiple transportation modes or throughout the whole, door-to-door, journey.

Your project must:

  • develop a solution which can provide a near-instant request or application, be used in real-time, or be a pre-emptive solution
  • develop the solution with a targeted accessibility, or inclusivity perspective embedded within it
  • consider how the proposed solution will benefit or impact other aspects of accessibility and inclusivity
  • identify how you will engage with the target user group for the duration of the project, in order to provide feedback
  • state whether your solution will be used for single or multiple transportation modes
  • detail how the solution complies with UK accessibility standards, guidance and legislation, if required

Your project can:

  • consider a national or local approach
  • propose how your solution can be used on multiple transportation modes or adopted across the whole journey

Contracts will be given to successful applicants.

You must demonstrate a credible and practical route to market, so your application must include a plan to commercialise your results.

Specific Themes

Your project can focus on one or more of the following:

  • people with physical disabilities
  • people with mental health conditions
  • people with learning disabilities
  • people who are neurodiverse
  • age inclusion
  • personal safety
  • gender inclusion
  • people with caring responsibilities
  • access and inclusion for other barriers

You must explain which transport modes your proposed idea or technology will be adaptable for.

Prototype development and evaluation

This can include prototyping, demonstrating, piloting, testing and validation of new or improved products, processes or services in environments representative of real-life operating conditions. The primary objective is to make further technical improvements on products, processes or services that are not substantially set.


Projects must:

  • have costs of no more than £250,000, inclusive of VAT
  • start on 1 June 2024
  • end by 31 March 2025
  • have a maximum duration of 10 months
  • deliver user engagement throughout the duration of the project


To lead a project, you can:

  • be an organisation of any size
  • work alone or with the subcontracted skills and expertise of others from business, research organisations, research and technology organisations, or the third sector (charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups)

This competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian or Belarusian entity as lead or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian or Belarusian source.

If you have not requested approval or your application has not been approved by us, you will be made ineligible. Your application will then not be sent for assessment.

Contracts will be awarded to a single legal entity only. Subcontractors can be used, where justified, but only for specialist skills. The majority of the project work and key deliverables must be the responsibility of the applicant and be carried out in the UK.

Use of animals in research and innovation

Innovate UK expects and supports the provision and safeguarding of welfare standards for animals used in research and innovation, according to best practice and up to date guidance.

Applicants must ensure that all of the proposed work within projects, both that in the UK and internationally, will comply with the UKRI guidance on the use of animals in research and innovation.

Any projects selected for funding which involve animals will be asked to provide additional information on welfare and ethical considerations, as well as compliance with any relevant legislation as part of the project start-up process. This information will be reviewed before an award is made.


Innovate UK will not fund projects that:

  • are not original in scope and duplicates someone else’s work
  • do not consider the solution from an accessibility, or inclusive perspective
  • do not have a solution that will benefit the UK transport networks
  • could have a detrimental impact on other transport users
  • do not specify how they intend to engage with the target user group throughout the length of the project
  • do not address how any potentially negative outcomes, such as on the environment or society, would be managed
  • do not evidence the potential for their proposed innovation to generate positive economic or societal impact
  • would directly duplicate other UK government or EU funded initiatives you have already been funded to deliver
  • are covered by existing commercial agreements to deliver the proposed solutions

Funding Costs

A total of up to £1 million, inclusive of VAT, is allocated to this competition.

The total funding available for the competition can change. The funders have the right to:

  • adjust the provisional funding allocations
  • apply a ‘portfolio’ approach

The contract is completed at the end of the project, and the successful organisation is expected to pursue commercialisation of their solution.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

You must select whether you are VAT registered before entering your project costs.

VAT is the responsibility of the invoicing business. We will not provide any further advice and suggest you seek independent advice from HMRC.

VAT registered

If you select you are VAT registered, you must enter your project costs exclusive of VAT. As part of the application process VAT will be automatically calculated and added to your project cost total. Your total project costs inclusive of VAT must not exceed £250,000.

Not VAT registered

If you select you are not VAT registered, you must enter your project costs exclusive of VAT and no VAT will be added. You will not be able to increase total project costs to cover VAT later should you become VAT registered. Your total project costs must not exceed £250,000.

Research and development (R&D)

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

SBRI competitions involve procurement of R&D services at a fair market value and are not subject to subsidy control criteria that typically apply to grant funding.

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.