Background

London Fire Brigade (LFB) is the busiest fire and rescue service in the country and one of the largest firefighting and rescue organisations in the world. LFB provides services across the Greater London area, serving London’s 8.51 million residents as well as those who work in or visit the city.

London Fire Brigade has 102 Fire stations around London. It has a mixed fleet of 436 vehicles which is made up of 67 cars, 57 Vans and 312 heavy specialist appliances.

The Mayor of London has outlined in the London Environment Strategy (LES) how to tackle London’s air quality problem and to make London a Zero Carbon City by 2050. As part of this, the Mayor has set emission reduction targets for the London Fire Brigade which includes the requirement to have a zero emission capable (hybrid) or fossil fuel free fleet by 2030 and a completely zero emission fleet by 2050.

The Challenge

With 102 fire stations and an unpredictable incident schedule there is considerable complexity in optimising scheduling and charging of vehicles while maintaining the high level of service that LFB is renowned for. At this stage (of the transition to zero emission technology), LFB is assessing how its heavy appliances will recharge – this includes installing dedicated charging at stations, the use of public sites as well as at the site of prolonged incidents.

On longer operations, appliances may need to have a smart method of determining where they can stop and gain sufficient energy to complete their return or carry out another shout if required.

With the trial of zero emission capable pumping appliances in development, LFB are looking for solutions to the manage a fleet of these specialist vehicles. and when rolled out LFB need to have a greater understanding about smart solutions that will enable them to operate without limitation.

LFB is looking for smart vehicle management solutions with integrated energy management capabilities. Specific challenges include:

Taking into account the incident (location, severity etc) with a full zero emission capable fleet. Any combination of vehicles could be sent to such an incident based on a number of conditions and the type of incident, solutions must consider how to optimise the vehicle usage including charge of vehicle, distance from incident, journey time (taken into account current traffic data).

Potentially, smart grids or smart systems that may allow the optimisation of charging schedule for the LFB fleet and where useful interventions such as V2G or Smart charging could be included and how they could help the business case or avoid grid upgrades at individual stations. This may include the use of other potential locations to top up – reducing the need to return to station and/or decreasing the load at stations.

Technology that can allow the recharging system to be adapted and grow with the number of appliances at a site.

Technology that reduces the amount of complexity – or a central power module to ensure a system that is more economical, easier to maintain and can be located away from vehicles and the risk of collision.

Proposals are welcome for:

  • Existing market-ready technologies
  • Established solutions from other sectors of industry which can be adapted for this application
  • Development proposals based on existing competences
  • Post-TRL 5 academic projects
  • Potential solutions may come from:
  • Automotive
  • Rail
  • Power electronics
  • Aerospace/aviation
  • Digital and IOT
  • Energy and Infrastructure
  • or any other relevant sector

Rewards and benefits

  • Successful applicants will be given an opportunity to pitch to the Challenger. The package may also include:
  • Support from the KTN and wider Innovations Networks within KTN
  • Support in the development of a prototype or pilot (if suitable)
  • Access to open discussions with the wider Greater London Authority family
  • A place in KTN or Innovate UK events
  • A potential business collaboration that including Innovate UK grant application

Solution requirements

Functional requirements

  • Solution needs to be scalable and deployed across London.
  • Solution needs to be secure
  • Solution needs to optimise the use of the energy system
  • Solutions need to be easy to update and potentially gain access to systems that identify failed charging points around the city.
  • Solution needs to be easy to use and to inform a number of stakeholders
  • The solution needs to inform LFB about their zero emission  strategy

Technical characteristics

  • Systems must interlink across all sites in London to allow a comprehensive routing system to be delivered to all units.
  • System must be able to reroute/redirect depending on energy needs, availability and priorities.
  • Systems would be good if there is a visualisation of vehicles and points to charge.
  • Systems would be considered favourably if the mapping of routes was updated for live traffic management.
  • Open source technology to allow modifications or upgrades

Operating conditions

  • The system needs to be robust and cyber secure.
  •  Datasets which may be helpful to the solution provider include:

https://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/london-fire-brigade-mobilisation-records

https://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/london-fire-brigade-incident-records

https://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/incident-response-times-fire-facts

Deployment timescale

  • Launch of the Competition: 4th of Feb 2021
  • Deadline for applications: 4th of March 2021
  • Successful applicants will be notified by the 17th of March 2021
  • Solutions should be prepared to be deployable within 12 months of the presentation day

Cost requirement and market opportunity

  • A commercialisation plan is desired for LFB to get a cost model for future deployment.
  • The opportunity is for the chosen organisation(s) to present to a panel including London Fire Brigade their proposed solution to this Innovation Exchange challenge
  • Following this there maybe opportunities to further engage with LFB via suitable grants or commercial arrangements

Eligibility and assessment criteria   

Entrants to this competition must be:

  • Established businesses, startups, SMEs or individual entrepreneurs
  • UK based or have the intention to set up a UK base

Applications will be assessed on:

  • Relevance to the topic
  • Innovative nature of the subject
  • Coherence of the proposed business model
  • Feasibility/ economic viability
  • Development potential
  • Maturity of project/solution
  • Ability to launch project quickly/Ease of implementation
  • Price/quality ratio
  • Suitability for the UK and European Market

IP and Potential Commercial Route

  • Existing background IP associated with a potential solution will remain with Solution Provider(s). Where any new IP generation is envisaged, it will be subject to the mutual IP agreement of the Solution Provider(s) and Innovation Challenger.
  • Any commercial deployment of transferred solution or newly developed solution, through licensing, joint venture, partnership or direct investment, will be subject to the commercial agreement between the Solution Provider(s) and Innovation Challenger.
  • Where necessary, a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) may be signed to uphold confidentiality in the engagement between the Solution Provider(s) and Innovation Challenger.
  • Innovate UK and KTN do not take any share of IP ownership or enter into commercial venture through the Innovation Exchange programme.