Waka Kotahi launches $15m innovation fund for transport sector

In News3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMay 13, 2022

Waka Kotahi has launched a $15 million innovation fund to accelerate innovative projects in the transport sector.

The fund, Hoe ki angitū, is focused on encouraging collaboration with the private sector and removing unnecessary barriers to accelerate solutions.

“We want to engage actively with the private sector and encourage contributions from a broad range of people – community-based organizations, iwi, rural communities, domestic and international companies, start-ups and innovators from all sectors,” said Waka Kotahi national manager multimodal and innovation Deb Hume.

“We know that there is some great work and thinking going on in the private sector to address some of the major transport challenges we face – such as reducing emissions, encouraging mode shift, improving accessible and equitable transport options, decarbonising freight, and improving road safety outcomes,” she said.

Hoe ki angitū is challenge-based, and seeks solutions with the potential to deliver real impact for the land transport system. The fund will launch with three specific challenges – with others added in future rounds.

With an allocated $15 million over two years, the fund will partner with and support innovators of all types and at various stages of the innovation cycle.

To be considered for funding, innovators will need to demonstrate how their project aligns with at least one of the transport outcomes as outlined in the Government Policy Statement on land transport, as well as address the specific problem presented in the challenge.

Innovators from the private sector including iwi, start-ups, domestic and international companies, research institutions, community and university groups are invited to apply.

It is expected that innovations submitted will be at various stages of development – from idea and testing through to implementation or growth.

Hume said: these challenges need to be urgently addressed to deliver a better-connected, cleaner, and safer transport system that keeps New Zealand moving.

“Working together we have an opportunity to amplify efforts and really achieve meaningful outcomes. Hoe ki angitū will enable us to support those passionate about solving these problems,” she said

“For successful applicants, support might be financial – or it might be in other ways including support to navigate the transportation regulatory system, access to data or capabilities or the creation of strategic partnerships. Each project will have a unique set of needs to help it advance.”

Applications for Hoe ki angitū open 7 June. Click here for more information.