Transport Technology Research Innovation Grant (T-TRIG) Enhancing the digital transport agenda (Big Data)

Key Features

The Transport Technology Research Innovation Grant (T-TRIG) funds early-stage research projects into innovative ideas or concepts to help create a better transport system.

Programme:     Transport Technology Research Innovation Grant (T-TRIG)

Award:     Up to £25,000

Opens: 5th Dec 2016

Closes: 9th Jan 2017

! This scheme is now closed

This competition is being run with support from Innovate UK and will fund research into gaining tangible benefits from using Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies to advance the UK’s transport system.

Big Data is already transforming the way we conduct science, deliver healthcare, improve performance, run cities and operate businesses. However, in the transport sector benefits exploitation is at a much lower level of maturity. Consequently, the Department is running this competition under the T-TRIG scheme to demonstrate what benefits can be achieved in the transport sector using Big Data.

The following is a working definition of “Big Data” used across Government:

Big Data refers to both large volumes of data with high level of complexity and the analytical methods applied to them which require more advanced techniques and technologies in order to derive meaningful information and insights in real time.

Within this definition, there is a fundamental assumption about the power and importance of new techniques and technologies, which are often called ‘data analytics’. The real value of analytics is that it can draw out new meanings, insights and value from bringing together individual datasets, which on their own might have limited value.

Big Data has the potential to transform the way transport operates by bringing different data sets together and using analytical tools to develop new insights, maximise efficiency gains, improve asset management and enhance the customer experience.

The competition calls for applicants to put forward proposals that take the next step in using Big Data by utilising AI and ML to enhance value gained from data analysis in transport, including predictive capacity.

  • AI allows a system to exhibit human-like intelligence in its responses through use of rational reasoning and deductive solutions
  • ML is a form of AI that allows a system to learn from results and amend itself accordingly


This competition call is being run to stimulate ideas generation and test initial concepts around how accessible and existing datasets can lead to tangible transport benefits, for example reducing congestion, improving mobility or improving the customer experience. These projects will also help to inform the Department’s future thinking in this area.

The Department is currently looking to many aspects of Big Data, data analytics and Internet of Things to better understand the impacts this will have on future mobility. The transformative effect of ML and AI and the impact it could have on the broader social and economic environment can be examined through this competition, helping the Department to gain a better understanding of the shape of future innovations and public understanding.

To inform this the Department will support projects designed to deliver transport benefits from the following areas:

  • ML to enhance data analysis
  • Using AI in transport
  • Data linking and bring together disparate data sets to demonstrate benefit
  • Using enhanced computing to process existing transport or transport-related data

The benefits identified should contribute to at least one of the following strategic objectives:

  • Building on innovation excellence throughout the UK to deliver safer, secure and more sustainable transport
  • Boosting economic growth and opportunity
  •  Turning scientific excellence into national commercial opportunities by developing a further understanding of the wider transport data, data analytics and integration, unlocking potential business models and data access to enable their exploitation
  • Building national technical and innovative UK capability through studying available data, exploitation and business models (costs/benefits, risks/mitigations, barriers/innovative solutions)
  • Accelerating innovation in smart connected systems to improve journey interchange and experience

Projects supported through this T-TRIG application must deliver a robust evaluation of the transport benefits that their Big Data proposals can bring. Successful bids will need to demonstrate:

  • What transport challenges the innovation is aiming to solve
  • Evidence of state-of-the-art innovation being carried out in practice
  • That the team has the skills and expertise to deliver the project plan
  • The project will deliver tangible transport and/or commercial opportunities for the UK
  • Value-for-money

The Department wants genuinely innovative solutions and would welcome bids from ‘non-transport’ organisations or consortia that can see a role for their technologies, tools and approaches in delivering transport benefits.


The indicative budget for the competition is £300,000 in total to fund 6-8 projects