Funding competition Developing a travel network management system for new mobility: SBRI competition

Organisations can apply for a share of £250,000, including VAT, to develop innovative ideas on how to integrate new mobility options in network management centres.

This competition is now closed.

Register and apply online

Competition sections


This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition with funding provided by the GovTech Catalyst for Oxfordshire County Council.

The aim of the competition is to develop new ideas on how traffic and network management can be upgraded to accommodate ‘new mobility’ options in Oxfordshire.

The overall programme will be delivered over 2 phases. This is phase 1 of a potential 2-phase competition. A decision to proceed with phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from phase 1. Only successful applicants from phase 1 will be able to apply to take part in phase 2.

Phase 1: research and development contracts, feasibility study

The first phase involves research and development (R&D) contracts being awarded to demonstrate technical feasibility of the proposed solution. A total of up to £250,000, including VAT, is allocated to phase 1 of the competition.

It is anticipated that the feasibility study R&D contracts will be in the region of up to £50,000, including VAT. This is for each project for up to 3 months. Projects must start on 15 July.

We expect to fund up to 5 projects. The assessors will consider fair value in making their evaluation.

We would welcome bids that bring together a consortium of sector specialists.

Phase 2: research and development contracts, prototype development and testing

The second phase involves up to 2 R&D contracts being awarded to organisations chosen from the successful phase 1 applicants. Up to £500,000, including VAT, will be allocated for each contract to develop a prototype and undertake field testing for up to 1 year.

Funding type


Project size

We expect projects to range in size up to total costs of £50,000, including VAT, for each organisation.

Who can apply

Your project

Projects should range in size up to total costs of £50,000, including VAT, for each organisation. Your project must start on 15 July and can last up to 3 months.

Lead applicant

To lead a project, you can:

  • be an organisation of any size
  • work alone or with others from business, the research base or the third sector as subcontractors


A total of up to £250,000, including VAT, is allocated to phase 1.

Applications must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively for R&D services. R&D can cover solution exploration and design. It can also include prototyping and field-testing the product or service. R&D does not include:

  • commercial development activities such as quantity production
  • supply to establish commercial viability or to recover R&D costs
  • integration, customisation or incremental adaptations and improvements to existing products or processes

Your proposal

The aim of this competition is to enable the development of a traffic management system suitable for traditional vehicles and the ‘new mobility’ technologies transforming the movement of people and goods in Oxfordshire.

New mobility technologies include, but are not limited to:

  • connected and/or autonomous vehicles (CAVs)
  • electric vehicles (EVs)
  • drones
  • dockless bikes
  • electric bikes

Proposals should consider how collaborative traffic and network management can:

  • reduce the risk of deployment of these new mobilities
  • enable the growth of the smart mobility market in the area
  • safeguard citizen safety
  • reduce the reliance on infrastructure

The system must be able to use data from several sources, including infrastructure owned by Oxfordshire county council (such as closed circuit television, automatic traffic light control systems or automatic number plate recognition), crowdsourcing and third-party data providers, and historic data. It will use this to generate insights, through dashboards and automatic tactic implementation (such as changing traffic lights automatically for specific vehicles), and will make it easier to monitor the network.

The system must:

  • allow Oxfordshire county council to identify data gaps and decide what minimum viable infrastructure is needed to close them
  • be able to use information from sources on the Internet of Things and share data and insights between different teams and organisations
  • produce metrics that adapt to the council’s policies, including changes in key performance indicators. These might include accessibility, reliability of services, incident response, air quality or modal shift
  • demonstrate you have considered cybersecurity and privacy implications

In phase 1 you must develop a feasibility study, including the proposed architecture and estimates of the ongoing costs and development. We do not expect all projects to provide solutions for the entire end to end system at this stage.

In phase 2 we expect successful applications to develop a beta version of the system and install it at Oxfordshire county council’s Urban Traffic Management Control Centre in Kidlington.

Specific themes

We are particularly encouraging solutions that:

  • enable communication between traffic management and road users
  • identify which modes of transport are being used
  • are scalable between different traffic or network management control centres
  • allow integration with artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • explore integration with other council functions, such as waste management, social services, emergency planning or public health
  • enable data fusion
  • work with multiple infrastructure providers and enable easy integration of new sensors
  • can accumulate data feeds to be used for analysis and strategic planning
  • enable a ‘Living Lab’ approach
  • reduce risk and increase collaboration in CAV, EV and drone deployment

Research categories

In phase 1 you must work closely with the stakeholders to develop a solution. In phase 2 the outcome of your project will be a prototype of the solution.

Phase 1: technical feasibility studies

This means planned research or critical investigation to gain new knowledge and skills for developing new products, processes or services.

Phase 2: prototype development and evaluation

This can include prototyping, demonstrating, piloting, testing and validation of new or improved products, processes or services in environments representative of real life operating conditions. The primary objective is to make further technical improvements on products, processes or services that are not substantially set.

Projects we will not fund

We will not fund projects that:

  • depend on specific infrastructure solutions
  • do not address the needs of urban, peri-urban (urban outskirts), rural and highway environments
  • cannot be integrated with the existing systems and setup
  • cannot be flexible and adapt to emerging mobility markets

4 March 2019
Competition opens
8 March 2019
Briefing event: presentation and notes
28 March 2019
Traffic Control Centre visit at 2:30pm
28 March 2019
Traffic Control Centre visit at 4pm
10 April 2019 12:00pm
Registration closes
17 April 2019 12:00pm
Competition closes
7 June 2019
Applicants notified
5 July 2019
Phase 1 contract awarded
5 July 2019

Before you start

To apply:

  • register online using the green button
  • read the guidance for applicants for this competition
  • consider attending the briefing event listed in 'Dates'
  • complete and upload your online application to our secure server

If you would like to visit the Traffic Control Centre, register to attend on Thursday 28 March at 2:30pm or 4pm. (Text update 22 March 2019: this paragraph and the links in the dates tab were added after the briefing event where it became clear applicants would benefit from a visit to the centre.)

We will not accept late submissions. Your application is confidential.

A selected panel of experts will assess the quality your application. You must use Microsoft Word for the application form or your application will be ineligible.

Background and further information

Additional background information that may be useful for potential applicants (added to this brief 22 March 2019).

About SBRI competitions

SBRI provides innovative solutions to challenges faced by the public sector. This can lead to better public services and improved efficiency and effectiveness. SBRI supports economic growth and enables the development of innovative products and services. It does this through the public procurement of research and development (R&D). SBRI generates new business opportunities for companies and provides a route to market for their ideas. It also bridges the seed funding gap experienced by many early-stage companies.

Further help and information

You can find information on how to enter this competition in the invitation to tender document, which is available for download on our secure site after registration.

Questions related to the particular requirements of this competition should be addressed directly to The answers will be published on the Oxfordshire county council website.

If you want help to find a project partner, contact the Knowledge Transfer Network.

If you need more information, email us at call the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357.

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