14 April 2022 | Innovation | Our Work

Festival to bring highways innovation to life

The Local Council Roads Innovation Group’s (LCRIG) Innovation Festival will be a first of its kind for the highways sector – with a number of authorities already committed to making their road networks available for trials along with funding for qualifying innovators who participate in the event.

The new event, which will take place from 6-7 July at Newark Showground, has been established to ‘make the case for innovation’ and will bring together local authorities, central government, the supply chain, associations and academia.

Exhibitors are able to request to be included as a qualifying innovator to be eligible for innovation funding and/or trials and the Infrastructure Innovation Board and delegates will judge the qualifying innovations.

Topics covered at the festival will include maintenance, technology, resilience, winter, sustainability, carbon reduction, procurement and market intelligence and trends.

The event is being supported by the Department for Transport (DfT), Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE), ITS (UK), Transport Technology Forum (TTF), ARTSM, TOPAS. Councils including NY Highways, Blackpool Council and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council are making their networks available for innovation trials.

LCRIG is inviting organisations to attend and exhibit at the Innovation Festival with a contribution from all exhibitors being put towards the LCRIG ‘Steve Berry – Think Exceptional’ Innovation Fund – a pot of money that will be used to help facilitate and speed up innovation in the highways sector.

Delegates from the public sector are being invited to attend the event free of charge (including accommodation).

In addition to the qualifying exhibitors we will also be welcoming:

    • Exhibitors to demonstrate ‘Innovation in Action’ (exhibitors that intend to participate by showcasing their innovations but that do not require funding).
    • Start Up Exhibitors.
    • LCRIG ‘Steve Berry – Think Exceptional’ Funded Exhibitors (actively demonstrating their innovations).
    • Exhibitors to demonstrate the ‘Fleet of the future’.  The showground enables us to provide a vast area to showcase.
    • There will also be two areas for live demonstrations. A demo road and a demo pedestrian crossing.
    • Support and guidance will also be provided to delegates, exhibitors and visitors from exhibiting organisations such as:
      • Academia.
      • Funding Organisations.
      • Associations, Training and Membership Organisations.
      • Market Entry and Intelligence and support for Specifications, Regulations and Standards.
      • Consultation support (from Key organisations).
      • Procurement and Framework, DPS, Bid Writing, Social Value, Sustainability and Customer Experience advice and guidance.

The outcomes, actions and opportunities from the Innovation Festival will be shared with the Department for Transport (DfT) and the highways community on an ongoing basis through all of our mediums and via our newly appointed Director, Government and Strategy – Paula Claytonsmith.

LCRIG Chief Executive Martin Duffy said: “This year’s Innovation Festival represents a first for the industry. We will be bringing innovation to life and through funding and trials we’ll help to speed up and take forward innovative ideas in the highways sector. It is vital that innovation sits at the heart of local authority highway teams. As one of our three key pillars we have put a real focus on innovation at LCRIG through initiatives such as the development of our Infrastructure Innovation Board, the introduction of an Innovation Fund, publication of our insight report into innovation in highways and the opportunity for organisations to pitch their ideas to the Board. The Innovation Festival will act as a culmination of all these things and more. This really is a must attend event for the industry. We truly will be making the case for innovation.”

Companies who want to be involved with this year’s Innovation Festival can align themselves with a number of different exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities.

Bookings are now open – further information on the range of packages available can be viewed here.