The application window for the 2021 Transport Research and Innovation Grant (TRIG) Programme is now closed!

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2021 Transport Research and Innovation Grant (TRIG 2021) Programme

TRIG 2021 enables the Department for Transport (DfT) to fully fund proof-of-concept research projects in support of innovative ideas or concepts that facilitate a better transport system. The programme aims to:
Foster innovation to improve UK transport;
Generate growth in the transport sector; and
Build links between policy teams in DfT and innovators.

The Transport Research and Innovation Grant (TRIG 2021) programme was launched by the DfT in 2014 to foster research and innovation in the sector. In 2019, Connected Places Catapult was brought on board as a delivery partner for the programme to implement a commercialisation focus into the existing framework. Through the delivery of our collaborative TRIG programmes, both organisations continue to support the advancement and commercialisation of novel technology in the transportation sector by offering grant funding, business support and commercial insight to early-stage UK innovators. 

Since the collaboration between Connected Places Catapult and DfT, six separate TRIG programmes have been successfully delivered - supporting over 85 innovative projects and with over £3.5m of grant funding.
Delivered by:

Why Apply?

Funded Innovation
100% funded grants for SMEs and universities
Government Oversight
Oversight from the DfT Office for Science and Chief Scientific Advisor
Contribution to Policy
Links to policy contacts within the Department to help you align your mission with Government priorities
Commercialisation Support
Access to tailored expertise that will help to ensure that your technology is fit for market adoption
Innovation Showcases
The opportunity to take part in Transport Innovation showcase events


The 2021 Transport Research and Innovation Grants (TRIG 2021) Programme will launch on the 7th October. We are looking forward to running four separate calls which will offer 43 grants up to £30k across all challenges and offer 5 grants of up to £100k in the Future of Freight challenge.

Challenge 1:
Maritime Decarbonisation

£30k Grants Available

Alongside interventions such as the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, focused on pre-commercial solutions, DfT is also seeking to support early-stage proof of concept innovation which support maritime decarbonisation, accelerating the implementation of the Clean Maritime Plan and the Transport Decarbonisation Plan

Challenge 2:
COVID-19 Recovery and Resilient Transport Systems

£30k Grants Available

DfT is seeking innovations that seek to aid the continued COVID-19 recovery within the transport sector and support transport modes, passengers, and staff to improve preparedness and resilience for future pandemic and biosecurity threats.

Challenge 3:
Future of Freight

£30k Grants and £100k Grants Available

The purpose of the Future of Freight call is to support innovative ideas that have the potential to address the opportunities and challenges that face the Freight and Logistics sector and its ancillary/supporting services.

Challenge 4:
Open Call

£30k Grants Available

The purpose of the open funding call is to seek innovative ideas that have the potential to address real UK transport challenges, across all modes and technology areas. It should be noted that although the open funding call is available to solutions to all transport challenges, applicants should consider their proposals within the context of DfT’s priorities and innovation needs.

For more details about the scope of the competition, including examples of the projects the DfT is looking to fund, please read the TRIG 2021 Grant Specification document found below.

Am I eligible?

Under TRIG 2021, organisations (SMEs, universities and consortium parties) can apply for a grant of up to £30k or up to £100k. We anticipate awarding at least 50 grants in total to successful applicants.
For the £30k grant, we would expect applicants to aim to progress their technology from TRL 2 (basic research) to TRL 4 (proof of concept/small scale prototype).
For the larger £100k grants within the Future of Freight challenge, we would expect technologies to start at TRL 2 and progress to a higher level of technological development - TRL 4 - by the end of the project delivery period.
Please note that projects bidding for a £100k grant will need to justify an enhanced award on the basis of complexity of challenge; ability to reach higher TRLs; or the necessity to form a wide consortium of collaborators to achieve success. These larger projects will also need to submit an Independent Accountant's Report at the end of the project (we do not require this of £30k projects). We expect the competition to be more intense for the larger grants and applicants should think carefully as to whether proof of concept can be achieved with a smaller grant. 

How to Apply

The application window has been extended until midnight on Sunday 14 November 2021.
If you would like assistance in completing the application form, please let us know and we would be pleased to help. You can find the relevant guidance in the following documents.

Key Dates

7th October

TRIG Application Window Open

18th October

Application Support Webinar

14th November

TRIG Application Window Closes

24th January

Shortlist Selection

31st January

Project Exploration Meetings

25th February

Cohort Selection

March 2022

Project Start


Equality & Diversity

Promoting equality of access to our competitions and supporting a diverse portfolio of companies is integral to both the DfT and the Connected Places Catapult. We seek to ensure that the organisations we work with are also committed to demonstrating equality, diversity and inclusion practices in both current and future projects and operations. 

Past Events