The winners of the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport’s (ADEPT) SMART Places Live Labs competition were announced by Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling today.
The winning bids, who will each receive a share of £22.9million funding, are: Buckinghamshire County Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, Cumbria County Council, Reading Borough Council, Suffolk County Council, alongside joint entries by Solihull Council and Birmingham City Council, and Kent and Staffordshire County Councils.
Schemes ranged from using plastics in road surfacing treatment to harvesting renewable energy from roads and innovative data analytics.
The two-year SMART Places project has been supported by the Department for Transport (DfT) and ADEPT’s corporate partners - SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business, EY, Kier, O2, and Ringway, with the specific aim of introducing digital innovation outside the Strategic Roads Network.
ADEPT received 28 bids from local authorities across the country. The winners were selected from a shortlist of bidders, who were asked to pitch their proposal in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ session to a panel of leading experts.
The panel was looking for an ability to drive innovation, use new materials and create new techniques for highways that can be deployed throughout the local roads network.
Hannah Bartram, Chief Operating Officer for ADEPT said: “ADEPT would like to congratulate all seven winning bids. We are excited to see how these projects develop over the next two years. The decision making process has been exceptionally difficult, with all the submissions of a high calibre and exploring truly innovative ideas.
“I want to thank DfT for supporting this project, which aims to ensure our local roads are fit for the future. I also want to thank our corporate partners, without whom the SMART Places programme could not have happened.”
The winning projects will now go forward into Live Labs where they will be tested.
More information on the winning bids can be found here.