We were lucky that the ITS World Congress was taking place in London this year, but apart from that it was mostly down to hard work to get Stephen Ladyman and Lord Sainsbury on the same stage at the plenary of the first morning of the ITS World Congress, announcing the launch of the Future Intelligent Transport Systems (FITS) initiative.
A couple of quotes from the speeches (and one from the CEO of EPSRC):
•“The UK Government has just launched a major research programme on future intelligent transport systems, which together with industry contributions will make just over £12M available for innovative demonstrator projects. This is just the start of a fruitful collaboration between government and industry.
Our vision for this initiative is to support highly innovative and wide-ranging research and technology demonstrator projects, combining the best UK expertise in industry, Local Authorities, transport service providers and universities.”
Stephen Ladyman, Minister for Transport
• “I am delighted that DTI, DfT and EPSRC have come together to fund this important initiative to help deliver better transport whilst reducing environmental impacts. This initiative will bring together UK industry and universities to address key research issues for the longer-term development of the UK transport system.” Lord Sainsbury, DTI Minister for Science & Innovation • “The FITS Initiative is an exciting opportunity for EPSRC to work with DTI and DfT to support leading edge research that will address an important national need. It opens up the possibility of new science and engineering techniques and processes being developed and introduced experimentally to address transport problems.” John O’Reilly, Chief Executive of EPSRC Released at this formal launch was the call for Call for Expressions of Interest (EoI), which provided the innovation challenges that DfT were particularly interested in, the funding levels and described the process for the competition to get into the sandpit.