Scotland’s transport sector is to enjoy greater access to innovation funding to help it tap into opportunities in a £1.4 trillion market after the opening of a new centre in Glasgow.
The Transport Systems Catapult (TSC), part of a UK-wide network of not-for-profit technology and innovation centres, has opened its first Scottish base to harness ongoing efforts north of the Border to transform the future of the transport industry in line with the Scottish Government’s long-term goals.
TSC, the first enterprise to put a self-driving vehicle on UK streets, has showcased the results of its “driverless pod” project in Scotland for the first time in public at an event for industry leaders at Strathclyde University’s Technology and Innovation centre.
It is also hosting a Transport Café support and networking event in Glasgow today to discuss new developments and offer guidance.
Applied research projects supported by TSC in collaboration with academia, SMEs and industry leaders are described as “realising the sector’s long-term goals of creating safer, greener and smarter modes of transport”.
Helen Wylde, chief engagement officer at TSC, said: “There’s a huge potential for Scottish universities, government and SMEs to play a central role in the development of new transport innovations and ultimately realise life-changing benefits for consumers while creating more efficient and environmentally friendly choices.
“We hope to facilitate further innovation and nurture continued expansion of the sector.” And she said there is a “huge opportunity for the Scottish transport sector and Scottish cities to lead the way and compete on an international stage”.
The opening of the office also marks the start of a strategy for TSC to expand across the UK. Wylde added that it means TSC, billed as a leader in the £1.4tr emerging “intelligent mobility” global economy, is “in a better position to work with both new and existing partners north of the Border”.
Scottish Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation Ivan McKee said: “I am confident our ambition for technological advancement will provide a solid foundation on which Transport System Catapult can continue to build its important work.”
He underlined the Scottish Government’s commitment to the development of connected and autonomous vehicles. “It is also our ambition to develop Mobility as a Service, I’m therefore delighted to support TSC, who are doing valuable work in both these areas.”