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    Innovate UK and Horizon 2020: innovation support for the transport sector

    Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency – funding, supporting and connecting innovative British businesses through a unique mix of people and programmes to accelerate sustainable economic growth.

    Part of the role of Innovate UK is to encourage and help UK organisations to benefit from European innovation support, such as the Horizon 2020 programme. Innovate UK provides and coordinates many of the UK’s National Contact Points for Horizon 2020, experts whose job is to help organisations access this support.

    Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever, with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by helping organisations to take great ideas from the lab to the market.

    One of the areas which Horizon 2020 focuses on is transport. The specific objective of the Transport Challenge ‘Smart, green and integrated transport’ is “to achieve a European transport system that is resource-efficient, climate- and environmentally-friendly, safe and seamless for the benefit of all citizens, the economy and society”.

    Funding priorities will be geared towards the present and future needs of citizens and businesses, and strive to maximise value for the transport sector, the wider economy and ultimately, the people.

    The Specific Programme is structured in four broad lines of activities aiming at:

    1. Resource efficient transport that respects the environment. The aim is to minimise transport’s systems’ impact on climate and the environment (including noise and air pollution) by improving its efficiency in the use of natural resources, and by reducing its dependence on fossil fuels.
    2. Better mobility, less congestion, more safety and security. The aim is to reconcile the growing mobility needs with improved transport fluidity, through innovative solutions for seamless, inclusive, affordable, safe, secure and robust transport systems.
    3. Global leadership for the European transport industry. The aim is to reinforce the competitiveness and performance of European transport manufacturing industries and related services including logistic processes and retain areas of European leadership (e.g. such as aeronautics).
    4. Socio-economic and behavioural research and forward looking activities for policy making. The aim is to support improved policy making which is necessary to promote innovation and meet the challenges raised by transport and the societal needs related to it.

    You can read more about the Horizon 2020 Smart, Green and Integrated Transport programme at

    The UK National Contact Point for Transport ( can help you to understand how your organisation can participate and benefit from the Horizon 2020 programme and can support you through every step of the submission process from registration to grant agreement.

    Outside Horizon 2020, Innovate UK has wide range of other innovation programmes and funding opportunities including several that focus on the transport sector. For more about the work of Innovate UK see

    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham