Commercial innovation

Working with us

We want to encourage market innovators to work with us. Whether you are a start-up or SME, a corporate, an accelerator or an investor, register your details on our innovator database so we can share relevant new innovation calls and programmes. For anything else, email us at

Our Innovation Activities


Reusable Type IIR face masks market engagement

As part of our Covid Recovery, TfL is distributing disposable Type IIR face masks to its employees, while this has been a successful campaign, we would like to hear from the industry on innovative solutions for Type IIR re-useable face masks (EN 14683 certified) either in development or out in the market. We would like to explore the longevity, durability and breathability of these masks.

  • Email us at quoting 'Re-useable Type IIR Facemasks' in the subject for more information
  • Please respond to us by 12pm (noon) on Wednesday 15 July 2020

Problem statements

We have been trialling sharing problem statements with the market to source new solutions to our business and customer challenges. We would also like to hear about innovative products which could be useful to our organisation.

Our Problem Statement Prior Information Notices (PINs) are listed on our e-tendering portal and on Tender Electronic Daily (TED).

  • If you do not already have a Pro-Contract account, you will need to register
  • We are trialling this approach to engage early with the market to share specific problem statements which may or may not lead to a procurement process

Our Innovation Programmes

We have shared some of our most complex problems with the market and asked it to come up with new solutions.

London FreightLab

FreightLab partner logos

In collaboration with the Mayor's Civic Innovation Challenge, we launched London FreightLab to collaborate with market innovators to develop new ways of tackling some of the biggest issues associated with freight and servicing in London.

The Mayor's Civic Innovation Challenge, in partnership with Microsoft and the Social Tech Trust, brings together London's public and private sectors with tech companies to develop solutions to the most pressing problems facing the city.

During the pilot stage, London FreightLab offers funding, land sites and subject matter expertise for up to six innovative ideas which aim to make the way goods move around London safer, cleaner and more efficient. These initiatives could be further developed and tested in later phases of the challenge.

We are working with ten leading industry partners who will be using their expertise in the sector to evaluate the proposals and assess their scalability. These include:

  • CEVA Logistics
  • DPD
  • Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
  • John Lewis Partnership
  • Plexal
  • REEF Technology
  • Royal Mail
  • Thames Water
  • UPS

Applications for innovators have now closed.

See our press release on the freight innovation challenge.

bus innovation

Bus Safety Innovation Challenge

A key part of our Vision Zero programme is tackling safety on the bus network. The Bus Safety Innovation Challenge seeks to identify new, innovative products and solutions to improve the safety of our buses.

The cohort which has been selected to partner with bus operators to develop and trial their solutions are:

  • Humanising Autonomy
  • Fusion Processing
  • JBDL - Vehicle Avoidance Lateral Lights
  • Datik
  • Lytx

For more information visit the Bus Safety Innovation Challenge website.

image of connected retail London banner

Connected Retail London

The Connected Retail London competition challenged businesses to come up with an innovative technical concept that reimagines physical retail space to meet the needs of our customers.

From 29 entries and 10 shortlisted concepts, we picked Sook as the winner. Sook's technology allows businesses and individuals to have a physical space as and when they need it. With time slots as short as one hour, Sook enables tailored retail space and encourages retailers to create their own digital interior.

For more information, visit the Connected Retail London website.

London RoadLab

London RoadLab

For our first open innovation programme, London RoadLab, we partnered with utilities, London councils and Plexal, an innovation centre based in Here East at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It aims to reduce the adverse impact of roadworks.

The cohort:

image of company logos

Following 10 weeks of co-development with us, the cohort developed some great innovations and we're excited to announce Immense Simulations, Mobilized Construction, Route Reports and SAM as winners.

Our team and the winners of the TfL challenges, Go Jauntly, VU.CITY, and Crossmap at the awards ceremony at City Hall Winners of the TfL challenges, Go Jauntly, VU.CITY and Crossmap at the awards

Mayor's Civic Innovation Challenge

In 2018, we worked with the Mayor's Office on the inaugural Civic Innovation Challenge. The challenge looked for start-ups to develop ways to reduce inequality, prevent climate change and support London's ageing population.

The winners were each given £15,000 to jointly test and refine their ideas. We're now working with Go Jauntly to encourage more leisure time walking, and with VU.CITY and Crossmap to use our data to develop a housing analytics and visualisation platform.

Our Innovation Partnerships

We partner with large corporates with notable R&D capabilities and a focus on London mobility to develop new products and services that deliver against our objectives in the Mayor's Transport Strategy.

London Connectory

London Connectory

We're trialling a 20-month partnership with Bosch to give small businesses and start-ups the opportunity to work with renowned experts and use cutting-edge data to tackle crucial transport challenges in London.

Working with Nitrous (a platform facilitating projects between the private sector, start ups and government), Bosch have opened a new 'Connectory' facility in Shoreditch, providing space and facilities for us and selected start-ups to work alongside Bosch's experts as well as private, academic and public sector partners. 

The London Connectory focuses on London's urban mobility challenges, including innovations that mean more efficient, greener and safer vehicles, reducing congestion, improving accessibility and encouraging more people to walk, cycle and take public transport.

We provide technical knowledge and a wide range of datasets, leveraging our Unified API and open data products, to allow companies to trial new products. In return, Bosch dedicates professionals to provide technical expertise, guidance and mentoring.


Getting the latest traffic information direct to drivers when and where they want it is crucial to avoiding delays and minimising congestion in the city.

 In 2016, we joined Waze's global Connected Citizens Program which enables us to share our data with Waze and receive their real time incident data in exchange. Our partnership means that London's road users have accurate information to plan their journeys and opens up Waze's valuable real time data to help us manage London's busy road network.

Our partnership has grown and developed over the years as we've worked together to deliver a range of benefits to Londonners. In 2017, we used their platform to remind drivers approaching the Blackwall Tunnel to refuel before entering the tunnel. As a result, we saw a significant increase in Waze users re-routing to nearby petrol stations, reducing the risk of breakdowns in the tunnel from lack of fuel.


We have been working with What3Words to explore possible use cases for using their innovative geocode system to communicate locations. Our Compliance, Policing and On-Street Operations (CPOS) Officers are trialling What3Words to identify precise locations during their everyday operations.

We're always on the lookout for partnerships that will help us continue our drive for innovation and customer empowerment, and we'd encourage any companies or organisations who are keen to work with us to get in touch to explore the possibilities.