Our networks

We cannot innovate alone.

In partnership with industry, academia and other infrastructure operators, we can look at how research, innovation and standardisation can provide better outcomes for our customers, the wider public and our assets.

Our networks

Our work includes:

  • Research, development and technology projects undertaken through our university partnerships with leading British universities.
  • Coordinated efforts with innovation enablers such as Innovate UK.
  • Supporting the introduction and development of new solutions from SMEs and start-ups.
  • Liaising with other operators to share ideas, knowledge and support national programmes.
  • Working with wider industry in the search for improved ways of working
  • Supporting our existing supply chain in their innovation efforts, particularly in development and implementation of new solutions.

Academia and Research

We want to join forces with academia in support of the future strategic road network by providing stronger real-world research activities with Universities.

We aim to achieve a network that is:


  • Approaching zero harm  on our network
  • Road user satisfaction levels to at least 95%
  • A free-flow core network


  • Amongst top 10 of global road operators
  • Cost reduction in project delivery and maintenance by at least 30%


  • A better neighbour to communities with 90% fewer people impacted by noise
  • Reductions in carbon emissions across the network
  • Improvement of environmental outcomes.

Academic research will form an important part of Highways England’s research portfolio in support of highly ambitious research projects.

Our potential routes for university partnerships include:

  • Doctorate programmes
  • Knowledge transfer partnerships
  • Post Doctorate projects
  • CEDR research
  • Research councils

Innovation bodies

  • Department for Transport