DfT announces £30m Live Labs 2

Ministers have announced a second, UK-wide round of the ADEPT Live Labs programme, with a particular focus on making the construction, maintenance and running of the country’s roads more sustainable.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said £30m of central government funding will support pioneering projects looking at ways to decarbonise local highways infrastructure in regions across the UK.

It described Live Labs 2, organised by council directors’ body ADEPT, as a competition, adding that it aims to build on the partnerships between the DfT, councils, commercial partners, SMEs and academia under the first ADEPT SMART Places Live Labs programme to deliver scalable zero carbon objectives with potential for commercialisation and applicability.

The DfT said that by issuing significant investments for each project, the fund aims to help local highways authorities and enterprises develop and propel their ideas to market even quicker.

Transport minister Trudy Harrison (pictured) said: ‘Investing in innovation is a priority for this government. That’s why we’re supporting local highways authorities to develop cutting-edge projects and help drive our decarbonisation mission.

‘Our £30m investment will go towards a greener, safer transport landscape. It will help create green, high-skilled jobs across the country and I look forward to seeing these innovative ideas brought to life.'

ADEPT President Paula Hewitt said: ‘ADEPT is delighted to be able to move ahead on Live Labs 2 with this new round of DfT funding and support. The highways and transport sector is the UK’s single biggest carbon emitter and although we are seeing a transition to electric vehicles, there is a huge gap where we are yet to tackle road infrastructure and maintenance.

‘Local authorities are perfectly placed to lead the drive to create net zero highways and local roads from the bottom up. The Live Labs format has proven particularly successful for highways authorities, enabling rapid change, innovation and experimentation.’

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