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 innovation@tfl.gov.uk.

Our innovation activities

Road Network Horizon Scanning Technology Review Questionnaire

We are doing an internal exploratory exercise to examine the future technologies that are likely to emerge over the next 15 years and how they may impact, and provide opportunities and challenges, to how we manage the road network. We believe industry can provide unique insight into the emerging and future technologies impacting roads and would welcome your response to the questions we have set out in the questionnaire.

  • For more information and to access the questionnaire email us at Innovation@tfl.gov.uk
  • Submit the questionnaire by email by 15:00 on Monday 7 December 2020

E-Scooter Rental Trial Tender in London

Transport for London (TfL), London Councils and London's boroughs are working together on plans for a twelve month trial of rental e-scooters in the capital, with the aim of promoting and consistent standards and better understanding the impact of e-scooters on London's roads, including Vision Zero, a shift to walking, cycling and public transport, zero emission targets and the Mayor's Healthy Streets approach.

  • The competition is now open to all e-scooter operators with the aim of a trial starting in spring 2021
  • You can find the tender documents on our e-tendering portal
  • To access all tender documents you will need to register on TfL's e-portal

Innovation collaboration framework

We are considering creating an Innovation Collaboration Framework that we hope will allow us rapid access to a number of corporations with Research and Development (R&D) facilities. We anticipate that this will provide us easy access to R&D to help solve key problem statements and deliver our strategic and business objectives. In addition, the framework would provide a route to market that allows us and its partners to scale up viable co-created products and co-commercialise them.

This Expression of Interest (EoI) seeks to obtain market feedback in relation to exploring the potential procurement of an Innovation Collaboration Framework and to see if suppliers have an interest in attending engagement sessions with TfL. Its primary focus is to better understand market/supplier appetite to inform the design of the framework.

Innovation in our car parks - market engagement

We are seeking solutions from innovators on how we can make better use of our station car parks. We are welcoming concepts which would enable the more diverse use of these sites and particularly, those which would support local economic recovery and deliver a greener, cleaner and healthier London.

We currently provide parking at 79 London Underground, Overground and TfL Rail stations. Our focus here is to explore innovative methods to re-purpose the use of some of our car parking estate, by considering new concepts that support the objectives listed below. These could extend to uses that go well beyond the car-related role of sites (we have for example seen ideas around logistics, community hubs, neighbourhood kitchens, urban farms, etc). We are interested in your creative, commercially viable ideas.

  • Have an innovative idea that you think could be relevant to our problem statement?
  • Use this link on our e-tendering portal to find information on how to participate in our market sounding questionnaire
  • The deadline for responses is 14:00 GMT on 4 December 2020

Research and development partner - Road safety tool

We are committed to making our roads safe for all users and are continually developing new safety measures. The Mayor's Transport Strategy sets out the goal that, by 2041, all deaths and serious injuries will be eliminated from London's transport network. While work continues to make our wider transport network even safer, the Vision Zero action plan focuses on the areas where the greatest challenges lie - London's streets.

We seeking a partner to participate in a research and development phase that may help inform our development of a specification for a scalable, marketable product that identifies near misses and potential collision hotspots on London's roads. Although there is no TfL budget assigned to this opportunity, we will provide research and development phase collaborators with access to valuable data, expert knowledge and live trial sites.

Note: production of a specification for use in a subsequent procurement is at our sole discretion and may or may not be informed by the findings from the research and development phase. An organisation's involvement in the research and development phase is no indication of success in any subsequent procurement.

We encourage interested organisations who meet the criteria set out below to apply to participate in the research and development phase.

Application process and contact details

Selection will be on a first come, first served basis. The first submission that we have deemed meets all the criteria below will be selected to participate in the research and development phase.Send any questions regarding this opportunity and your completed application to: theochapple@tfl.gov.uk.Subject to signing of the R&D partnership agreement, an initial workshop with the selected partner will be scheduled to:

  • Introduce the R&D project teams
  • Agree ways of working
  • Define our problem statement and use cases.

Part A: organisation details

Please provide the following details for your organisation:

  1. Organisation name
  2. Company registration number
  3. Key contact name
  4. Key contact email address
  5. Key contact phone number
  6. Organisation website

Part B: selection criteria

Please demonstrate [in less than 1000 words] how your organisation meets the following criteria:

  • experience of research and development of relevant road safety products
  • experience of developing and marketing road safety products in the UK or overseas
  • access to road safety telematics data with a high level of coverage of Greater London
  • experience of mobility research and development partnerships or collaborations, preferably with the public sector in the UK or overseas.
  • access to GDPR compliant and secure collaboration tools
  • must substantially agree to the terms and conditions of the research and development agreement. Please email theochapple@tfl.gov.uk for a copy of the agreement.

This research and development opportunity will remain open until a collaborator has been selected.

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.

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 have chosen six companies who will be taking part in our London FreightLab challenge, working alongside leading industry Partners.

These companies are set to be awarded £20,000 each to develop their ideas, to help tackle the congestion caused by freight deliveries in the capital:

The winners are:

  • AppyWay, which exists to help cities with digital kerbside management
  • EMSOL, who work with organisations to help them take steps to reduce air and noise pollution caused by transport
  • ENSO Tyres, who are looking to disrupt the tyre industry by developing a new generation of more energy efficient tyres for electric vehicles
  • Fernhay Partners, who have developed a freight delivery solution utilised last mile delivery methods such as e-bikes and walkers
  • Ford Mobility, who have a software platform to make deliveries more efficient by connecting van drivers with last mile couriers on foot or on bike
  • Humanising Autonomy, who have developed behavioural analysis for accident and near-miss prevention to increase the safety of vulnerable road users

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.

Waze

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.

What3Words

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.