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  • Nikki Latham

£7 Million Tech Fund To Decarbonise Freight And Boost Innovation

A new government-backed fund is going to help make freight delivery across the UK more efficient and cleaner. This will help businesses save money, and make our economy stronger.

The Freight Innovation Fund (FIF) will help up to 36 small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to work with industry-leading companies to develop new ways to make freight more efficient, resilient and green. The Climate Investment Fund supports the testing of new ideas to improve the efficiency and emissions reduction of small businesses. This can include ideas like how to better organize containers, improve links between transportation modes, or find new ways to use technology. Roads Minister Richard Holden said: “Our freight industry is vital to underpinning the economy and keeps Britain moving, and so it is crucial we invest in new innovations to make it greener and quicker.


“This fund will accelerate new ideas and technologies, helping to develop a future pipeline of innovations that can be rolled out to create jobs and allow everyone to get their goods faster and easier.”

The innovation fund was announced last year as part of the Government's Future of Freight plan. The fund is meant to help improve the freight sector by focusing on cost-efficiency, reliability, resilience, environmental sustainability, and social value. Working to make the freight network more able to cope with disruptions and quickly recovering from them can help protect the supply chains of many different industries. The fund will support ideas and technology that address three long-standing issues in the freight sector. The government is planning to work together with different freight transport companies to make sure that freight flows smoothly and emissions are reduced. This will involve collecting more data from different transport modes so that better decisions can be made about how to move cargo around the country. The plan explains how knowing about freight movements can help us understand the economy better. This can help us make better decisions about things like business and trade. The Federal Infrastructure Fund (FIF) is a government fund that helps businesses and organizations do more research and development (R&D) in the freight transportation industry. This fund is based on other government initiatives that have helped support other technologies in the past. CGA Simulation created a tool that simulates urban environments to predict the best place for infrastructure that will enable radical developments in logistics. This will help small businesses grow. The fund will give SMEs access to technical and business support from the organisation. Fishbone Solutions created a programme that uses vibrational data from rail freight wagons and Artificial Intelligence analysis to determine whether the wagons are working correctly. This helps heavy goods vehicles drivers save fuel. Nicola Yates OBE, CEO at Connected Places Catapult, said: “Each year in the UK, we transport 1.6bn tonnes of freight using many different modes of transport and it has never been quicker or easier. The freight sector makes a huge contribution to our economy but is also a significant contributor to domestic carbon emissions. “Today we are delighted to be working with Department for Transport to launch this Freight Innovation Fund as part of their Future of Freight strategy. The fund will help us to work with innovators and industry partners to develop a pipeline of technology and data innovations that will tackle the freight sector’s emerging needs, ensuring that resilience, efficiency and carbon reduction are core to the sector’s future.”


The Freight Innovation Fund Accelerator will help small businesses to access private investment, and the Freight Innovation Cluster will provide a community for freight industry innovators to share ideas and resources.

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