The UK government has announced 41 winning projects that will receive a share of more than 1.8 million GBP through the 2023 Transport Research and Innovation Grant (TRIG) competition.

These grants will aid the development of new transport solutions, such as an automated boat that could deliver parcels by water to reduce road emissions.

Additional funded projects include an AI tool to manage railway station passenger levels and a hydrogen refuelling system for aircraft.

Winning projects include the development of a futuristic self-driving parcel boat – designed to deliver by river
Winning projects include the development of a futuristic self-driving parcel boat – designed to deliver by river

The TRIG scheme supports projects in the early stages of their development to help improve and decarbonise future transport systems across all modes.

For 2023, the winning projects are based across the UK, with 83% located outside London.

Decarbonisation, Aviation and Technology Minister, Anthony Browne, said:

We’re at the dawn of a new age for transport – AI can now help tackle universal challenges like station overcrowding or road congestion by using our historic waterways to deliver parcels by self-driving boat.

These hugely exciting initiatives represent the best of British innovation, showing it’s UK companies, backed by government funding, that are leading the way in this field, creating jobs and boosting our economy.

This year’s TRIG scheme focuses on specific challenges such as airports, local transport, maritime decarbonisation, AI, digital twins, the future of connectivity and the future of freight.

The winning projects include:

  • RAD Propulsion – creating a prototype that will make ‘last blue mile’ parcel deliveries on UK waterways
  • Unitrove – leveraging its pioneering liquid hydrogen refuelling technology for aircraft
  • Duku – addressing challenges in maritime electric vehicle charging by testing its accessible charger for small passenger ferries and harbour and sightseeing vessels
  • OpenSpace – researching how an AI tool can be used to tackle rail station disruption, using algorithms to optimise passenger flow, improve passenger experience and get stations moving more quickly
  • University of Strathclyde – using data analysis to identify ideal sites for electric heavy goods vehicle charging infrastructure across Scotland


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