Scottish transport sector gains greater access to innovation funding

(L-R) Helen Wylde, Chief Engagement Officer at Transport Systems Catapult, shares some insights into autonomous vehicles with Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, and the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Eva Bolander.
(L-R) Helen Wylde, Chief Engagement Officer at Transport Systems Catapult, shares some insights into autonomous vehicles with Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, and the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Eva Bolander.

The Scottish transport sector is to benefit from greater access to funding for new innovation projects which support business growth and create improved traction within a £1.4 trillion pound emerging Intelligent Mobility global economy, thanks to Transport Systems Catapult opening a dedicated Scottish base.

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The innovation centre hopes to harness Scotland’s ongoing efforts to transform the future of the transport industry in line with the Scottish Government’s long-term goals of fostering a smarter, healthier, safer and greener environment.

The not-for-profit innovation centre is at the forefront of ‘intelligent mobility’ and was the first enterprise to put a self-driving vehicle on UK streets. Transport Systems Catapult showcased the results of the ‘driverless pod’ project in Scotland for the first time in public at an event for industry leaders at Strathclyde University’s Technology and Innovation centre.

Helen Wylde, Chief Engagement Officer at Transport Systems Catapult, said: “There’s a huge potential for Scottish universities, Government and SMEs to play a central role in the development of new transport innovations and ultimately, realise life-changing benefits for consumers while creating more efficient and environmentally friendly choices. That’s where we come in. We hope to facilitate further innovation and nurture continued expansion of the sector.

“Following the announcement of the Scottish Government’s National Transport Strategy and commitment to investing in new innovations within transport infrastructure, there is a huge opportunity for the Scottish transport sector and Scottish cities to lead the way and compete on an international stage.”

Applied research projects supported by Transport Systems Catapult in collaboration with academia, SMEs and industry leaders are realising the sector’s long-term goals of creating safer, greener and smarter modes of transport. Research with partners including University of Aberdeen and Heriot Watt University look at areas including Connected and Autonomous transport; vehicle emissions and air quality; air traffic communications; and reducing emergency response time in cities to name a few.

The opening of its first office north of the border marks the beginning of a strategy to expand across the UK. Helen added: “We’ve been working towards opening a Scottish office for some time. We’re excited that it has now come to fruition and are in a better position to work with both new and existing partners north of the border.”

Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation Ivan McKee added: “Recent developments in transport technology further demonstrate Scotland’s world-renowned innovative capabilities, and I am confident our ambition for technological advancement will provide a solid foundation on which Transport System Catapult can continue to build its important work.

“The Scottish Government is invested in fulfilling Scotland’s technology potential in the transport sector, and our Programme for Government commitments outline our intention to support the development of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles. It is also our ambition to develop Mobility as a Service, I’m therefore delighted to support Transport Systems Catapult who are doing valuable work in both these areas.

“I look forward to seeing the benefits new technologies will continue to offer in terms of sustainable economic growth, employment, infrastructure and connectivity.”

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