Open innovation

We solve problems with market innovators

We are working towards a greener, safer, more inclusive future for London.

To get there, we're partnering with market innovators to apply new technologies and solve TfL's challenges.

Register with us

Interested in solving TfL's challenges? Register your details on our innovator database.

To get in touch, email: innovation@tfl.gov.uk

How innovation works

We work with innovators of all sizes to solve TfL's challenges. Rather than prescribing solutions, we instead look to the market for creative, resourceful and novel approaches to our problems. The International Chamber of Commerce has recognized us as 'leaders in open innovation'.

To encourage these partnerships, we provide funding, expertise, mentorship and access to the TfL network. Innovating with the market lets us solve problems quickly and more cost-effectively, improving our network and making life better for Londoners.

As well as solving current TfL challenges, we are also keen to meet with innovators who can help us understand the direction of travel for emerging technologies.  

In all cases, whether we're carrying out horizon scanning or running a live challenge, we're focused on mobility innovations that will further the aims of the Mayor's Transport Strategy.

Working with us

Our innovation activities have five main areas of focus:

  • Vision Zero
  • Carbon reduction
  • Air quality
  • Customer experience
  • Operational efficiency

Our projects vary widely in size, scope, budget and duration, but all advance us towards our priorities for London. We want to hear from innovators who share our priority of making London greener, safer, and more inclusive for everyone.

If you're ready to develop new technologies, services or approaches that could help us achieve our strategic goals, register with us to hear about upcoming projects.

Case studies

Corporate Innovation Partnerships

Corporate innovation partnerships allow TfL to harness world-leading R&D. The results of our pilot partnerships with Bosch and Mercedes-Benz are informing the design of our wider innovation partnerships framework.

Reusable masks for our staff

To reduce the logistical and environmental pressure of using disposable masks during the pandemic, Open Innovation worked rapidly with the market to design and make available reusable type IIR face coverings. These are now a standard part of our uniform,available to all staff.

Improving our roads

london roadlab

We set a challenge to make roadworks in London safer, smarter, and more accessible.

Nine innovators were selected to develop their solutions with the support of TfL, utilities providers and London Councils.

After 10 weeks, the trial cohort developed valuable innovations - with Immense, Mobilized Construction, Route Reports and samdesk announced as winners.

Since the initial challenge, Immense and samdesk have been awarded contracts for technology that will make the management of our road network safer and more efficient.

Improving our air quality

air quality image

We worked with Bosch on projects spanning AI, road safety and passenger experience. In 2021 a trial using advanced air monitoring significantly improved air quality in Brixton - making life better for residents, pedestrians and road users.

By building a real-time model of traffic and air pollution in the town centre, we reduced emissions by a huge 20%. Now, the knowledge we gained in Brixton is guiding our approach to air quality across London.

Improving freight and servicing

london freightlab

As part of the Mayor's Civic Innovation Challenge, we launched London FreightLab. This collaboration with market innovators aims to make freight and servicing more efficient across Greater London.

FreightLab offered each innovator £20,000 in seed funding, as well as access to experts, mentors, data and pilot sites across the city to develop their MVPs. The callout to market was highly successful - innovation trials are now underway in partnership with leading freight and utilities providers.


Register with us

Interested in solving TfL's challenges? Register your details on our innovator database.

To get in touch, email: innovation@tfl.gov.uk