Innovate TfL competition

About Innovate TfL

Innovate TfL is an annual competition for young people in Years 12 and 13. The challenge is to work together to come up with an innovative solution to a real TfL challenge.

What the competition involves

Over 10 weeks, students will work in a team of 4 to 6 to produce:

  • A filmed presentation
  • A design concept

The deadline for submission of entries is Friday 17 January 2025.

Entries will be shortlisted and finalists will pitch their innovation to a panel of experts at a TfL office in central London in mid-March 2025.

All finalists will be offered work experience in July 2025.

What we will provide

  • Digital teacher/student packs
  • TfL Innovators (facilitators) to support your launch event and teams working on the project

What schools will need to provide

  • A member of staff to coordinate students into teams
  • Arrange your introduction to Innovate TfL
  • Support for students entering Innovate TfL, including a minimum amount of time in school/college
  • Work with TfL to provide feedback and evaluation data

We design the competition in a flexible way according to the needs of each cohort of students. After the introduction event to Innovate TfL in your school or college, we recommend that you combine guided and independent learning.

For example, in an 8-to-10-week period, you might include between 1 and 2 guided learning hours with 1 or 2 independent learning hours. It will depend on your students and time availability.

Who can take part

All schools inside of Greater London

Students in Year 12 or 13 from schools or colleges inside of Greater London (the London Mayor's jurisdiction).

Teams based outside London

We're very limited in providing TfL Innovators for schools or colleges outside of Greater London. However, you can contact STEMNET to engage with STEM professionals who may support your launch event.

Youth groups and charities

We welcome teams from youth groups or youth charities. All participants must be in Year 12 or 13 or be aged 16 to 19 years old if they're not in full-time education.

Why get involved

Complements to the curriculum

Including Post 16 PSCE curriculum, a wide range of subjects including engineering, technology and ICT, science, maths, creative subjects, design, English, humanities and business. Students gain an insight into a range of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Arts).

Gatsby benchmarks

Participation will meet 5 of out the 8 benchmarks. The Careers and Enterprise Company rate this type of activity as having one of the highest impacts in careers advice provision.

Simulated work experience

The project is designed along real-world principles, giving students simulated work experience which can be added to their CVs or personal statements.

Year 12 students can gain skills needed for the workplace and learn about career options, while Year 13 students will find the experience an invaluable opportunity before they finish Key Stage 5.

Work and life skills

Innovate TfL uses London's iconic transport network to inspire young people to develop their confidence and skills. These include team working, communication, project and time management, plus analytical, research, creative, numeracy and literacy skills.

Students develop real world skills during the project including teamwork, leadership, research, communication, organisation and project management.

Students on work experience

How to apply

Schools, colleges or youth groups can Register now for the next Innovate challenge which runs from September 2024 to January 2025. The deadline for registration is Friday 11 October 2024.

Contact us

If you want more information about the Innovate TfL competition, email us at