In order to solve the many and varied challenges we have, we must embrace and embed new products and technologies.

Working with us

We want to make it easy for market innovators to work with us so we'll keep this page up to date to share areas where we are looking for innovation. Whether you are a start-up or SME, a corporate, an accelerator or an investor, register your details on our innovator database.

We'll be in touch about our relevant future innovation calls and programmes as well as any queries related to your registered area(s) of interest. For anything else, email us at innovation@tfl.gov.uk.

Current innovation opportunities

London FreightLab

FreightLab partner logos

In collaboration with the Mayor's Civic Innovation Challenge, we are working with innovators on an innovation challenge, London FreightLab, 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 should help 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 on the challenge, who will be using their expertise in the sector to evaluate the ideas and if they could work on a larger scale. These include:

  • CEVA Logistics
  • DPD
  • GNEWT
  • 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.

Current Problem Statements

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

We are planning to launch these Problem Statements later this year:

  • Status of lifts
  • Bus cooling

Our Problem Statement Prior Information Notices (PINs) can be found 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 upcoming Innovation Programmes

We're putting some of our biggest problems out to the market and asking it to respond with new solutions. Find out about our future innovation programmes:

Upcoming challenges

We are exploring possible future challenges on tackling bus driver fatigue, improving road safety and cycling. More information will be shared shortly.

Previous Innovation Programmes

We have seen some great new products come through our innovation programmes over the last year which are now being developed further:

bus innovation

Bus Safety Innovation Challenge

As part of Vision Zero, safety on the bus network is a priority. To help achieve this, we have launched the Bus Safety Innovation Challenge to identify new, innovative products and solutions which will improve the safety of London 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

After the Connected Retail London competition launched in March 2019, we 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

London RoadLab is our first open innovation programme in partnership with the utilities, London councils and Plexal, an innovation centre based in Here East at London's 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

In 2018, we worked with the Mayor's Office on his 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 collaborations

We are also working with large corporates who have large R&D activity focusing on London by sharing some of key goals in the Mayor's Transport Strategy which is resulting in the development of innovative solutions.

London Connectory

We're trialling an 20-month pilot 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. 

London Connectory focuses on the urban mobility challenges facing Londoners, 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 test ideas and understand patterns in more detail. In return, Bosch dedicates professionals to provide technical expertise, guidance and mentoring.

Further details will be released soon by Bosch on their plans to consider direct approaches by small business/start ups who want to be part of the Connectory community.

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-route to a nearby petrol station, drastically reducing the risk of breakdowns 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.