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.

Phase 1: research and development contracts, feasibility study

This competition involves research and development (R&D) contracts being awarded to demonstrate technical feasibility of the proposed solution. A total of up to £2 million, inclusive of VAT, is allocated to this phase.

The phase 1 contracts will be up to £75,000, inclusive of VAT. This is for each project for up to 12 weeks. We expect to fund about 30 projects. We welcome bids from a single entity that brings together sector specialists as subcontractors.

Phase 2: research and development contracts, prototype development and testing

We expect to follow phase 1 with a second phase that will involve R&D contracts being awarded to businesses chosen from the successful phase 1 applicants. Funding of between £500,000 and £1 million, inclusive of VAT, is expected to be allocated for each phase 2 contract, in order to develop a prototype and undertake field testing for 12 months.

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


To lead a project, you can be an organisation of any size, and can work alone or with other organisations. Contracts will be awarded only to a single legal entity.

Research and development

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.

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

Lead customer or challenge owner

Your public sector lead customer or challenge owner could include a strategic customer with an interest in seeing the end solution procured by others or an organisation such as a local authority who may want to procure similar solutions.


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.

You can read examples of each theme in ‘Supporting information’.

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.

A webinar briefing event will be held on 8th October: register here.

Contact our Transport team for further information or queries.