Cranfield University has become the third university to sign a Deep Academic Alliance (DAA) with the Transport Systems Catapult (TSC), with the aim of supporting the Government’s plans to make the UK a world leader in transport innovation. The DAA marks the start of a three-year collaboration to deliver innovation, skills and technology on smart transportation.

DAAs are key partnerships between the TSC and universities, which align transport-related research and educational roadmaps with industry strategies. The alliance with Cranfield builds on existing collaborations between the two organisations, including working on vehicle collision avoidance systems, vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity and an advanced autonomous vehicle project led by Nissan.

The Alliance is set against a backdrop of growing demand and increasing opportunity; the global market for 'Intelligent Mobility' is estimated to be worth £1.4 trillion a year by 2030. Meanwhile, a key 'Grand Challenge' in the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy is the future of mobility and how to make travel safer, better connected and more efficient.

Cranfield University Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Peter Gregson said: "The Transport Systems Catapult is playing a vital role in helping the UK capture a greater share of the growing ‘intelligent mobility’ global marketplace. As two organisations based at the heart of the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford Growth Corridor, we have an integral part to play in driving forward innovation and boosting skills for the benefit of the region and the nation. This alliance will further strengthen our relationship and will enable us together to help the UK deliver on its ambitions of becoming a global leader in smart transportation."

Transport Systems Catapult CEO Paul Campion said: "Cranfield University is a world leader in transport innovation with a wealth of expertise in areas such as connected and autonomous transport, airspace innovation, human factors in transport and low carbon technology. This makes Cranfield an ideal partner for achieving our vision of creating an environment that will make the UK a world leader in transport innovation.

"Our Deep Academic Alliances are a response to a rapidly changing transport landscape: operator-focused, single-mode, fossil-fuel-dependent and disconnected travel will be replaced with user-centric travel based on system-wide integration and data-driven services. High-profile developments like automated cars are just the tip of the iceberg and the market opportunity for the UK is huge if the right investments are made and collaboration is encouraged."

The new Cranfield Alliance supports the TSC’s five-year academic engagement strategy to ensure transport innovation has greater budgetary focus within local and national Government. The DAAs will bring together academia, research councils and key industry players to provide evidence and policy advice to underpin, plan and regulate new transport systems.

Two men with car
Paul Campion from Transport Systems Catapult with Cranfield University Vice-Chancellor Sir Peter Gregson