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*Innovation
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Technology Priorities for the UK
Innovation Platforms

Intelligent Transport Systems and Services

FUTURE INTELLIGENT TRANSPORT SYSTEMS

A call for Expressions of Interest to participate in academic/industry multidisciplinary research and innovation consortia

Closing Date for Expressions of Interest - 12 noon Friday 3rd November 2006

Future Intelligent Transport Systems - call for expressions of interest  application/pdf (130Kb)

Intelligent Transport Systems and Services - Technology Strategy Board  application/pdf (34Kb)

FUTURE INTELLIGENT TRANSPORT SYSTEMS

The Challenge:

The desire of society to have the convenience and status of personal transport, together with new trends in the distribution of freight brought about by developments in e-commerce, represent a major challenge in terms of congestion, pollution and the need to preserve road safety.  The Technology Strategy Board has recognised the challenge, and the opportunities it presents, and has launched a pilot Innovation Platform focused on Intelligent Transport Systems and Services in response. 

The market for Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) is global, and demonstrating success in one of the most congested parts of the world, should provide the ideal stepping-stone for UK companies to this wider market. To fulfil the potential of ITS, and to capitalise on the market opportunity, far greater cooperation and integration of applications is required.  As technologies mature, it is becoming more important to address complex problems.  For example, intelligent transport applications might require co-ordinated research which includes location positioning, spectrum efficiency, antenna design, network security, user authentication, access authorisation, IT systems, geophysical modelling, regulatory policy, government policy and socio-economic impact.  Complex problems such as this need a co‑ordinated approach.

The Intelligent Transport Systems and Services Innovation Platform provides a framework to bring together Government policy makers, business representatives, academia and a range of other organisations to better understand the challenge, the future direction of Government and the solutions that business may be able to provide or should be working towards.  By making future public procurement opportunities more visible to business, it provides a greater incentive to business to invest in R&D with the knowledge and confidence of future market opportunities.

The increased introduction of ITS represents a major opportunity for UK business both in terms of new market opportunities, but also reducing congestion estimated by the CBI to cost the UK up to £20 billion per year.  Most of the building block technology is already available, but there is huge scope for longer-term technological innovation to generate higher performance, greater reliability, lower cost and smaller devices.  As well as the technology to support the introduction and operation of ITS, it will also generate revenues from a whole new range of services such as location-based consumer life style services and the needs of vehicle fleet managers, particularly the retail logistics chain. 

Progress so far:

The Intelligent Transport Systems and Services Innovation Platform is well underway. DTI and Department for Transport (DfT) Permanent Secretaries have formally agreed to support the initiative and the Platform steering Group has met three times since early June. DfT is an active member as the primary "owner of the policy challenge". Initial membership also includes EPSRC and SEEDA. All fund-holding members of the steering group have committed to coordinate their funding streams via the Innovation Platform. For instance, in August SEEDA launched a £2.3m call for expressions of interest for collaborative projects to provide businesses or consumers with improved services, including transport logistics and congestion. Further calls, coordinated via the Innovation Platform, are expected.

The Secretary of State for Transport launched the Transport Innovation fund in July 2005 to support the development of transport schemes that feature demand management. Funding of £290m will be available in 2008/9, increasing to £2.5bn by 2014/15.

The steering group is chaired by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) member Julia King, and a business secondee with a background in innovation and telematics has been appointed as the Innovation Platform Manager. A project team has been drawn from member organisations.

The steering group has also been working closely with DfT to clearly describe the "Innovation challenges" for the platform. First moves have been made to communicate with industry via workshops, facilitated by InnovITS, in December 2005 and June 2006. Future workshops are being planned around the time of the ITS World Congress in October 2006.

The community of business interest, or Knowledge Transfer Network, is already up and running, with strong business engagement. DTI has committed £6.5m over the next five years to support the innovITS business-led network which is now identifying the business challenges. Other relevant KTNs are Industrial MathsLocation & Timing and existing trade bodies such as ITS(UK).

The steering group is currently identifying a short term and medium-to-long term focus points for the Innovation Platform, and is preparing an Action Plan for deploying the £10m initially earmarked from the Technology Strategy.

The ITS World Congress (8-12 October 2006) represents a major opportunity to showcase UK ITS expertise in front of a global audience.  Not only the latest advances in technology, but how the UK is deploying leading-edge ITS initiatives to support delivery of transport.  The UK is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities ITS presents.  We are working to ensure Government activates the necessary levers to help foster an economically successful UK ITS industry and so support UK economic growth.  The World Congress plays an important part and we recognise the value of the Congress to UK usiness.  InnovITS are coordinating a showcase of British industry at the ITS World Congress within a “features area”.

The Intelligent Transport Systems & Services Innovation Platform will also be holding a seminar at Innovate 2006 on 2 November 2006 and the innovITS network will be involved in workshops. For further details please see http://www.innovate2006.co.uk/.

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