ADEPT’s Live Labs 2 moves into Dragon’s Den phase with 30 local authority bids

The £30m programme ADEPT Live Labs 2: Decarbonising Local Roads in the UK from the

Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) has received 30 bids from local authority-led partnerships across the UK.

Funded by the Department for Transport (DfT), the three year, UK-wide programme which has now closed for applications, will begin a short period of evaluation before inviting shortlisted applicants to perform a Dragon’s Den-style pitch to a panel of independent sector experts.

Successful applicants will develop trials to test new technologies and solutions to develop resilient, net zero carbon, local roads, the majority of which are managed by local highways authorities.

The decarbonisation of transport infrastructure across local roads has taken a back seat to the introduction of electric / hydrogen vehicles and encouraging the public to adopt active travel.

While these are essential, ADEPT Live Labs 2 is asking applicants to address decarbonisation in terms of the whole life cycle of local roads and broader considerations such as the community environment. The programme wants to see trials that examine new construction and assets, operation and maintenance, plant and machinery used, right through to decommissioning.

Neil Gibson, Chair of the Live Labs 2 Commissioning Board said: “We’ve had an amazing response from the highways industry who have really risen to the decarbonisation challenge. Bids have come in from all corners of the UK, from sub-national bodies, combined authorities, and local highways authorities working in partnerships and clusters.

“Bids have included proposals for innovations ranging from considering single materials within our local roads to the system as a whole, from individual locations and corridors through to whole service approaches.”

Giles Perkins, Live Labs 2 Programme Director said: “The competition period has been extremely exciting, particularly seeing how industry has interpreted our challenge in such varied and inspiring ways. The energy and enthusiasm generated so far is kickstarting the debate on what the decarbonised future of our local roads can looks like.”

The shortlisted bids will be being invited to pitch at the Dragon’s Den on the 4th November 2022.

ADEPT represents local authority, county, unitary and metropolitan directors of place. The Live Labs initiatives are part of ADEPT’s SMART Places programme to support the use of innovation and technology in place-based services.


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