Nine projects have been awarded a total of £1.2 million today by the Government through Connected Places Catapult’s first accelerator programme as part of the Freight Innovation Fund. Winning projects include using drones to make deliveries between remote Scottish islands and lightweight electrically assisted delivery vehicles to transport goods in cities.

Solutions identified through the programme aim to reduce traffic and improve regional connectivity, as well as clean the air and create highly skilled jobs through new ways of sending and receiving deliveries.

The winning projects are led by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who have been partnered with larger firms to explore the viability of their solutions in real-world conditions.

SMEs will receive business support to help them access private investment, and get the chance to join a Freight Innovation Cluster designed to bring a community of innovators together to collaborate and generate new opportunities.

“The freight sector has an enormous opportunity to support jobs and growth across the UK which is why today we are pleased to welcome the SMEs to the first round of the Freight Innovation Fund.

“Working with innovators and industry partners through our accelerator programme allows us to develop a pipeline of technology and new ideas that promise to help tackle the freight sector’s emerging needs, ensuring that resilience, efficiency and carbon reduction are core to the sector’s future.”

Nicola Yates OBE, CEO at Connected Places Catapult: “Whether it’s using drones to help better connect our vital small island communities or using technology to help reduce road emissions and traffic, we want to give innovators the opportunities to test their ideas and help our freight industry become greener and quicker.”