TfW launches second phase of the Lab by Transport for Wales programme

Posted: 28 August 2020 | | No comments yet

Transport for Wales has selected 11 companies to develop innovative ideas to improve the passenger experience as part of the second phase of its programme.

TfW launches second phase of the Lab by Transport for Wales programme

Credit: Transport for Wales

Transport for Wales (TfW) has launched the second phase of its innovation and accelerator programme, which is bringing together some of the best start up innovation businesses to deliver real customer benefits.

Working virtually with 11 companies over 10 weeks, Transport for Wales and its partner, Alt Labs, will take an idea to develop a proof of concept or minimum viable product to present to stakeholders.

More than 100 companies – both local to Wales and across the UK – applied to take part in the second cohort to join the ‘Lab by Transport for Wales‘ (TfWL), making it difficult to shortlist the final 11.

Ideas include:

  • Using camera sensors to provide real-time passenger counting data
  • A cloud-based ‘travel assistant’ for organisations that need to manage people-flow and travel demand whilst delivering world-class visitor experiences
  • A mobile app aimed to improve the passenger experience by delivering amazing stories about what travellers can see outside their windows based on location.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, Transport for Wales has committed to running the next cohort virtually and giving the companies the same dedicated experience. Cohort 2 began on 26 August 2020 and runs for 10 weeks. After that point, companies will pitch their ideas, with Transport for Wales deciding which to develop further.

Insight and Innovation Manager at Transport for Wales, Michael Davies, said: “We’ve been so impressed with the high calibre of ideas that have been pitched to us over this stage of the programme. This has made our job of selecting the best startups for cohort 2 extremely tough. The Lab by Transport for Wales allows both local, Welsh companies and those further afield to grow, develop and accelerate their business. Importantly, it also presents the opportunity to develop and fast track any new ideas that can make a meaningful difference to the passenger experience across our network.”

The Lab by Transport for Wales was established in 2019 in Newport to ensure that innovation was at the forefront of planning over the next 15 years. The first cohort successfully pitched their ideas in July 2020, with Clever Citi, Brite Yellow and Passageway being awarded a share of £30,000 and the chance to take their ideas forward with Transport for Wales. An additional two companies from the first cohort are also continuing to develop their ideas.

Adam Forster of Alt Labs added: “We’re really excited following cohort 1 of the Lab by Transport for Wales accelerator programme. We’ve seen firsthand exactly what is achievable in terms of problem solving and developing solutions for Transport for Wales, and how start-ups are making the most of the opportunity that the Lab presents. The innovation partnership between Alt Labs, who are powering the TfWL programme, and Transport for Wales has shown results for cohort 1, so we’re riding that excitement into cohort 2, as we’ve seen almost double the number of start-ups apply for our remote programme than what we had in cohort 1.”