Innovation Birmingham Campus hosted the ‘Invitation to Partner with the TSB’s Transport Systems Catapult’ event on 26th March.
The event was open to all those interested in delivering innovative solutions to transport challenges. Over 70 people were in attendance to listen to the presentations from the Catapult team, in the state-of-the-art conference facilities.
The Transport Systems Catapult forms one part of an elite network of seven technology and innovation Catapult Centres. The Transport Systems Catapult is established and overseen by the Technology Strategy Board. Together, the Catapults represent a £1bn public and private sector investment over the next five years.
The Transport Systems Catapult aims to bring together those with innovative ideas, resource and expertise to facilitate collaboration, grow the sector and gain investment. The event started with networking and lunch in the ‘Faraday Street’, just outside the conference room, giving members of the Catapult a chance to network informally with delegates.
The main presentation was delivered by Alex Burrows, Head of Innovation Challenges for the Transport Systems Catapult. Alex is responsible for communicating the Catapult’s vision for intelligent mobility. Alex unpacked the term as ‘the efficient and cost-effective movement of goods and people’.
The Transport Systems Catapult aims to work with those within the private sector to make the UK a world leader by facilitating collaborative projects, offering best practice business models and transport solutions within this emerging field.
Alex opened the presentation by setting out the Catapult’s main objective; to drive UK global leadership in intelligent mobility, promoting sustained economic growth and wellbeing through integrated, efficient and sustainable transport systems.
The project will deliver a unified transport sector using integrated transport systems. These solutions will be facilitated via innovation centres and focused projects; by identifying and building platforms and infrastructure; and by promoting thought leadership using communication tools and strategies.
Alex then focused on 10 challengeable areas which need to be addressed in order for the sector to achieve its economic objectives and social benefits. Delegates were able to see how they could get involved, collaborate and benefit from the Catapult.
The Challenges included:
- Improving the traveller experience at transport modal interchanges
- Minimising the impact of disruption through use of adjacent transport networks
- Incentivising the provision of a seamless journey through modal interchanges
- Providing personalised contextualised, trusted, information that improves the traveller experience
- Developing insight from transport system information that improve the performance of the network
- Offering end to end mobility as a service
- Integrating quality of life and city economy benefits into transport decisions
- Enabling whole journey accessibility of transport systems
- Taking a systems approach to investment and policy in transport infrastructure
- Delivering seamless freight
The crux of each point reiterated the key ambition of breaking down the process of, and looking at every angle of a travellers journey, from door to door, utilising the vision of intelligent mobility to make the journey process as seamless as possible.
Following the presentation, delegates were invited to an open Q&A session led by, Dave Mullin, the Transport Systems Catapult’s Chief Innovation Officer. Dave highlighted the Catapult’s focus; “We are about filling the gap between ideas and to market, working with the UK workforce to come up with solutions to our initial 10 challenges”
Questions centred on the 10 challenges and whether there would be scope to add more or evolve them as time passes and as collaborations occur. Dave encouraged this notion by indicating that the project is only just beginning, and that to be a global leader in intelligent mobility, they fully expect a much wider group of challenges will be identified and addressed.
Questions ran into an extended networking session back in ‘Faraday Street’ at the end of the presentation, where delegates could enquire in further detail how their specific industry area could collaborate with the Catapult.