Staffordshire accelerator looking for innovation air quality solutions

The SIMULATE (Smart, Infrastructure & Mobility Urban Laboratory and Test Environment) accelerator is looking for disruptive start-ups to address a set of air quality and mobility challenges.

SIMULATE, which is a partnership between Staffordshire County Council, AMEY, Keele University and the Connected Places Catapult, are looking for SMEs to trial innovative concepts around air quality with the aim of them being adopted into the local and strategic road networks.

SMEs have until March 23 to submit their ideas and will be selected through an outcome-focused bidding process, culminating in a dragon’s den style event.

Successful entrants will be provided with a bespoke six-month incubation programme to develop their solution, with product development and technical mentorship. Successful SME’s will then have the opportunity to secure funding for live trials within the programme.

SIMULATE’s four mobility challenges are centred around tackling sustainable transport problems within a rural county:

  1. Clean Community – connecting communities with quick and carbon-neutral mobility options
  2. Dynamic Connections – providing a service that connects both urban and rural dwellings with critical amenities
  3. Rapid Transit – delivering a rapid point-to-point solution that takes into consideration the volume of users at different times throughout the day
  4. Integration and Behavioural Change – seeking solutions to address the shift in attitudes and behaviours that are needed when moving from single-use and private vehicles to a different mobility model

Running alongside these challenges, SIMULATE is also looking for solutions that can be deployed to tackle air pollution in areas with poor quality in Staffordshire, with three AQMAs selected as test environments for trialling new solutions.

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport Helen Fisher said: ‘Innovative solutions can improve efficiency both for highways managers and residents, drive down costs and improve air quality leading to better health. It is fantastic to be able to use the “small town” that exists as part of the university campus to create the living laboratory whilst at the same time benefiting local small business and students’ research.

‘We look forward to discovering from the successful SMEs how new technologies can be used and how they complement each other to improve community highways and road users’ experiences and their health.’

Photo Credit – Keele University

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