Funding competition: innovation in cycling and walking


The Department for Transport (DfT) will fund up to £470,000 for innovative projects that lead to more walking and cycling.

Proposals will tackle current barriers and encourage more journey stages to be made by bicycle or on foot. Innovations may include, for example, technology, infrastructure, manufacturing or behavioural change.

The government’s vision is for cycling and walking to become the natural choice for shorter journeys. The draft cycling and walking investment strategy sets out the Department for Transport’s (DfT) ambitions for increasing the number of journeys and journey stages made on foot or by bicycle.

To meet these aims, the DfT intends to focus on:

  • better safety: safety and safety perceptions have been cited as the biggest barriers for people wanting to take up cycling and walking
  • better mobility: to make cycling and walking normal, easy and enjoyable, we need better links and networks to key destinations
  • better streets: well-designed and accessible streets can encourage people to walk or cycle more as part of their daily routine

This is an open competition run as a Small Research Business Initiative (SBRI).  DfT is looking to fund a portfolio of projects that propose innovative means of tackling the barriers to walking and cycling, leading to more journey stages being made by bicycle or on foot.

Competition Scope:

The competition is open to individuals, groups and organisations. It is particularly suitable for early-stage, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Industry partners such as local government, independent and third sectors can carry out the project on their own or with others.

This competition has 2 phases. Up to £170,000 is allocated for phase 1, and up to £300,000 for phase 2.

  • phase 1: proof of concept. Projects should last up to 15 weeks and range in size up to a total cost of £25,000 each
  • phase 2: demonstrator projects. Projects should last up to 9 months. They can range in size up to a total cost of £100,000 per project

Key Dates:

Competition opens Wednesday 19 April 2017
Registration deadline Midday on Wednesday 7 June 2017
Application deadline Midday on Wednesday 14 June 2017

How to Apply:

If you are interested in this market testing exercise, please email the Innovation SuperNetwork team at or complete the form below so we can help you and guide you through the application process.


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Our work is only possible with the support of our local and national partners, including Innovate UK, the Knowledge Transfer Network, the North East LEP, Northumbrian WaterNorth East BIC, and Reece Innovation with part funding from the European Regional Development Fund.
Huge thanks go to all our partners.