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Innovate: Create – Travel Challenge with Uber


Do you have an innovation that could help reduce private car use in Wolverhampton?

Innovate: Create – a Create Central project powered by Innovation Engin3 – is offering creative digital SMEs in the West Midlands a chance to develop a project, working with Uber & Wolverhampton City Council, that looks to help to reduce congestion in Wolverhampton by reducing private car dependency. Through the challenge, Innovate:Create is offering the opportunity to win one of two support packages worth £12.5k in grant funding and business support. The grant funding can be used to help the business build a prototype of the solution, whilst the business support will help explore how to take this solution to the next stage – creating opportunities for new products, new revenue streams and business growth.

The Challenge

Uber is an organisation that has made serious commitments to playing their part in tackling the climate crisis. This challenge, developed in collaboration with Uber, focuses on the issue of emissions and congestion in Wolverhampton caused by a high use of private vehicles. The challenge is to come up with a solution that creatively helps the general public engage with all of the new and abundant ways to get around the city of Wolverhampton. Your solution could be anything from a platform to a game and anything in between. In July 2019, City of Wolverhampton Council became the first local authority in the Black Country to declare a Climate Emergency. This involved making a number of commitments, most notably to make the City of Wolverhampton Council carbon neutral by 2028 and to work with partners across the city and region to work towards a net carbon zero future. Find out more about City of Wolverhampton Council’s climate initiatives. According to the 2019 Air Quality Annual Status Report (ASR) carried out by City of Wolverhampton Council, the main air quality issues in Wolverhampton relate to emissions of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) from road traffic. The areas most affected are close to busy roads, junctions and parts of the city centre, particularly where the traffic is congested, the roads are narrow, or there is a high proportion of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). When submitting your ideas businesses can apply on their own or in collaboration with another business. To apply to the challenge, a lead applicant must write a topline idea in response to the challenge above and provide links to existing work and experience. When applying as a collaborative proposal (two businesses), only the lead applicant needs to submit an application. Both partners must be registered businesses in the West Midlands.
Express your interest to be invited to an online briefing event to help guide your final submission. The two winning applications will get a support package worth £12.5k in grant funding and business support. Deadline for Expressions Of Interest is 14 August 2022

Click here to register your interest

About Innovate:Create

This project will create a series of competitions for SMEs in the West Midlands creative content sector working closely with the low carbon sector. Big business challenge holders will issue a series of challenges which offer specific opportunities for local companies to take part in a competitive process to win a mix of mentoring and grant support to develop an idea into an audience-facing project or R&D pilot (depending on the brief). SMEs will be supported with direct grants and business mentoring to help them address the specific challenges which have been articulated by our challenge holders. Innovation Engin3 partners include:


Over the last decade, ride-hailing services like Uber have played an important role in the transportation landscape. Where these services are available, users, at the touch of a screen, can access safe, reliable, on-demand transportation at all times of the day and night and in more places than ever before. Its convenience, coupled with simple, trusted methods of payment has altered the way that people in towns and cities move around. The ubiquitous nature of ride-hailing has helped increase the effectiveness of public transport systems by filling spatial gaps (first/last mile) and temporal gaps (times with no or reduced service). Most importantly, these services have shown that it is possible to reduce reliance on the private car – a severe problem faced by most modern cities all around the world. Such services provide many benefits, but also need to play their role in reducing their impact on the environment. The direct and indirect impact of ride-hailing on the wider transport system is an active area of research and discussion, and for Uber minimising externalities (when the effect of the service provided imposes costs or benefits on others which are not reflected in the prices charged for the service) of its core services is a key strategic priority. Over the last decade Uber has made significant progress, including a commitment to be fully electric by 2030 across the UK, but there is plenty more to do. Uber is excited to partner with cities to help unlock new forms of transportation for citizens while improving the environmental footprint of the entire industry.

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