Bicycle businesses can now apply for the Department for Transport's Innovation Challenge Fund. Academic institutions can also apply. Valid projects will "use or enable science, engineering and technology to address specified DfT policy goals." This could be the "implementation of a new idea or applying existing ideas to a different sector or market," says the DfT, which is interested in "innovative technological solutions to increase the levels of cycling."
The Innovation Challenge Fund is aimed at schemes that can "double cycling by 2025."
Grants of up to £90,000 are available to businesses including those that are micro, small or medium-sized, academia or other organisations. Grants can fund up to 100 percent of the cost of a project, with up to 30 percent of the grant available at the beginning of the project.
Projects could include:
- Digital solutions – to help promote cycling and make it easier for people to incorporate cycling into their everyday lives. Tools to assist local transport planners and practitioners
- Business and employee engagement – innovative solutions to assist businesses in making cycling provision available to their workforces, or providing direct support to employees to enable them to cycle to work.
- Support for jobseekers who may benefit from cycling to work to expand their employment horizons
- Cycle safety – solutions which support improved cycling safety or address perceptions of safety
- Infrastructure/better streets – solutions which support the development or promotion of new cycling infrastructure schemes.
Guidance from the DfT suggests that successful projects would address cycle safety ("we know safety and safety perceptions have been cited as the biggest barriers for people wanting to take up cycling"); network solutions ("we know that to make cycling and walking normal, easy and enjoyable, there needs to be better links and networks to key destinations") and accessibility ("we know that well designed and accessible streets can encourage people to walk or cycle more as part of their daily routine").
Applications have to be in by 13th February.