Hot on the heels of the recent successful Carbon Neutral Challenge, Sunderland City Council launches the “Transport Challenge” in collaboration with Digital Catapult. This brand new competition offers £10,000 to the winner to develop and trial a solution that will help the Council shape sustainable transport modes across the city.

The challenge invites innovative startups and medium sized businesses to develop solutions which will help engage employees and residents in Sunderland to capture reasons behind travel choices and understand mobility patterns. Data gathered will be used to understand at a deeper level how transport choices correlate with other factors such as traffic congestion and the weather, helping to shape the Council’s transport strategy. The vision is that, by 2030, Sunderland will be a connected and international city, well on its way to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040..

Applications are now open to businesses from across the country who have experience in the fields of data collection using advanced digital technologies, such as the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), data analysis and machine learning, user-experience and interactive design, and gamification.

The partners are looking for applicants whose proposed solution has an innovative and personalised user-experience which enriches engagement with the user, while overlaying other available data sources such as air pollution, transport services availability, congestion and weather.

Working closely with the Council’s Low Carbon Team, and technology experts from Digital Catapult, the winner of this challenge will receive £10,000 to develop a proof of concept, with the opportunity to trial the winning solution at a location in the city.

Naomi Hutchinson, Head of Innovation at Digital Catapult North East Tees Valley, said:
“We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Sunderland City Council; it will mean the Council can better understand residents’ behaviour through data analysis, in turn contributing towards the city’s ambitious plans to adopt more sustainable transport methods in the future.”

“We’d love to hear from the incredible organisations in the local area and across the UK that are already developing innovative ways of collecting complex sets of data through the application of advanced digital technologies. We look forward to seeing the results of the challenge.”

Councillor Graeme Miller, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said:
“Engaging with our business community to showcase their technological skills sits at the core of this ‘Transport Challenge’. I look forward to seeing the ideas and outcomes from a range of local and national businesses to help shape our future transport strategy.”

“SMEs are the backbone of our country, developing and delivering innovative solutions to drive the UK forward. Working collaboratively with these talented businesses and our partners Digital Catapult, represents an exciting opportunity to evolve innovative tech solutions aligned to Sunderland Our Smart City’s objectives for a dynamic, healthy and vibrant urban centre of the future.”

Applications are now open and will close on 16 August 2021.