Highways England has launched two competitions for companies with solutions that could help transform the strategic road network. Scroll down for video.
One competition will be for new materials; the other will be for new technology that improves safety.
Speaking at Traffex Seeing is Believing, Paul Doney (pictured), Highways England’s innovation and continuous improvement director, said, “we are opening our door to everyone”.
Highways England has launched an Innovation Portal “to help identify things that could make roads safer for motorists and road workers, improve how information reaches those travelling around or help deliver an ambitious programme of road schemes”.
The online platform shows some of the research and development being funded by Highways England through its ring-fenced innovation fund.
These include an intelligent and connected construction plant development to make excavation work safer and more productive, mobile safety equipment to protect road workers and connected and autonomous vehicle test bed sites to prepare the network for future vehicles.
Mr Doney said, “Automated construction is a challenge we are very interested in.”
Highways England said it is keen to engage with the industry, small and medium-sized enterprises, research organisations and academic bodies.
It said it also wants people to understand the journey their idea or product will go on. Solutions to problems are fed by the discovery stage of research, which the company said it is keen to support.
“Beyond that it’s about developing new products and services and how innovation can be linked to what customers want; it also needs to deliver value for money. The big challenge is then to “land” innovation and make it business as usual through standardisation.”
You can watch Paul Doney’s keynote address at Traffex Seeing is Believing here: