Getting involved


Taking part in innovation


To get involved with innovation at Highways England, you can contact us if you can help with our key themes and challenges, and get involved in any targeted research and innovation competitions we either run or support.







Connecting with us

How to get in touch with us if you can help with our key themes and challenges:

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Challenges and Competitions

To help us solve some of our challenges, we plan to run targeted research and innovation competitions. These competitions will support the transformation of the strategic road network by unlocking new knowledge for our future. The challenges will be informed by our innovation themes, and business requirements, and will support our three imperatives, safety, delivery and customer service.

Anyone with a potential solution is welcome to apply.


Open competitions and challenges


Transforming UK construction: apply for funding

Businesses are invited to bid in 2 competitions worth up to £36 million, funding collaborative R&D and demonstrator projects.

Both competitions focus on modern methods of construction, digital and whole-asset performance. UK Research and Innovation is providing the funding through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s Transforming Construction Challenge.

Both competitions open on 28 August 2019 and close on 30 October 2019 at midday. Further details on how to enter can be found in the link below, and there is also an overview webinar available to watch here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/transforming-uk-construction-apply-for-funding


Previous competitions

Highways UK is seeking entries to the 2019 Intelligent Infrastructure Challenge (IIC), an open innovation competition for industry which forms a major component of Highways UK 2019, taking place at the NEC on 6/7 November. There are five challenge categories covering;

  • Design construction and asset management
  • Operations
  • Road user experience
  • Energy and the environment
  • Safety

Competition winners will have the opportunity to attend a half day mentoring seminar with relevant Highways England specialists.

Full details of the competition and how to enter can be found on the Highways UK website.

https://highways-uk.com/huk/innovation/intelligent-infrastructure

Highways UK 2019 Civils and Materials Innovation Competition This is now closed

Highways UK is seeking entries to the 2019 Civils and Materials Innovation Competition. Innovations in the application of civil engineering or materials are being sought in the following categories;

  • Road pavements from surface course to subgrade
  • Other elements of road projects
  • Resilience, sustainability and waste reduction
  • Health, safety and well-being
  • Asset management and maintenance

Competition winners will have the opportunity to attend a half day mentoring seminar with relevant Highways England specialists.

Full details of the competition and how to enter can be found on the Highways UK website.

https://highways-uk.com/huk/innovation/civils-materials

Developing digital roads and improving air quality This is now closed

Find out competition results

Highways England is currently funding two parallel competitions for solutions and ideas for the design and use on UK roads.

The two competitions reflect the different stages of project development; one is for proven feasibility projects at development stage (higher TRL), and other for unproven feasibility projects (low TRL) but which show great potential. Projects must be suitable for trial on England’s strategic road network of motorways and major A roads. Projects are expected to start by September this year.

Developing digital roads and improving air quality (development or pilot only, 1 phase) :

This competition is for proven feasibility projects at development stage (higher TRL).

Developing digital roads and improving air quality (feasibility study and development or pilot, 2 phases):

This competition is for unproven feasibility projects (low TRL).

The bids and applications process are being facilitated by Innovate UK, the innovation agency.

Applying and removing road markings This is now closed

Entries are invited for innovative projects or research into better ways to apply and remove road markings.

One of the areas identified for specific research is the application and removal of road markings. We have for some time been concerned about impact of this procedure, due to driver uncertainty as to the actual lane direction, where removed or masked lines still appear as a contrast to the surrounding surface; plus, cracks and potholes caused when the surface breaks up under removal of the old lines with over aggressive removal techniques.

Highways UK 2018 Intelligent Infrastructure Challenge This is now closed

Highways UK are seeking entries for an Intelligent Infrastructure Challenge. There are four challenge categories covering safety, congestion, air pollution and cost. Full details of the competition can be found on the Highways UK website.

Highways UK 2018 Materials Innovation HubThis is now closed

Highways UK are seeking entries for an Intelligent Infrastructure Challenge. There are four challenge categories covering safety, congestion, air pollution and cost. Full details of the competition can be found on the Highways UK website.

Highways UK 2017 Intelligent Infrastructure Hub
Highways England’s Challenge

This challenge reached out to industry to demonstrate an economically viable solution for traffic monitoring and control in any road with beneficial impacts on customer safety, journeys and/or road maintenance.
We are working with overall winners Valerann to test their intelligent road stud in working conditions.

Roads for the Future

Highways England alongside the National Infrastructure Commission and Innovate UK conducted a new innovation prize, for ideas on how to deliver a world-class road network in the UK ready for connected and autonomous vehicles. Further details can be found in the following link:
Roads for the Future