£7m earmarked to decarbonise freight industry

Businesses looking to use technology to decarbonise the freight industry could benefit from a new £7 million government fund. 

The freight innovation fund will look to support up to 36 small and medium sized enterprises in developing and rolling out more efficient and greener way to transport freight. 

Roads Minister Richard Holden said: ‘Our freight industry is vital to underpinning the economy and keeps Britain moving, so it is crucial we invest in new innovations to make it greener and quicker. 

‘This fund will accelerate new ideas and technologies, helping to develop a future pipeline of innovations that can be rolled out to create jobs and allow everyone to get their goods faster and easier.’ 

cargo ships docked at the pier during day

Whilst the fund was initially announced last year under the government’s ‘future of freight plan’, it was launched this week by Mr Holden alongside the Connected Places Catapult innovation agency, who will deliver the fund. 

Support from the pot will focus on three major issues in the sector: A lack of cross-industry data collection between different modes of freight on a large scale, difficulties in transporting freight between modes of transport such as rail and road, and improving freight distribution in ports. 

Money will be delivered over 3 years with the hope that allowing smaller businesses to test ideas alongside industry-leading companies will generate cleaner practices, reduce traffic and create jobs. 

The CEO of Connected Places Catapult, Nicola Yates OBE, said: ‘Each year in the UK, we transport 1.6 billion tonnes of freight using many different modes of transport, and it has never been quicker or easier. The freight sector makes a huge contribution to our economy and contributes significantly to domestic carbon emissions.’ 

She explained that the fund will ‘develop a pipeline of technology and data innovations that will tackle the freight sector’s emerging needs, ensuring that resilience, efficiency and carbon reduction are core to the sector’s future.’ 

With an increased focus on the emissions output of companies across the industrial and commercial sectors, a recently launched online tool from Ecologi allows businesses to analyse their supply chains and control emissions-related decisions. 

Photo by Andy Li


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