Go-Ahead opens applications for innovation lab

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The UK’s most creative transport start-ups and SMEs have been invited to team up with The Go-Ahead Group for the latest programme of its landmark innovation lab.

The Billion Journey Project, now entering its third year, sees FTSE 250-listed Go-Ahead Group offer a 12-week scheme to help small businesses grow and develop their solutions for passengers.

The scheme is leading in the transport industry and part of Go-Ahead’s efforts to improve customer experience through innovative new offerings.

Named for the billion journeys that Go-Ahead enables every year, the scheme previously generated a ‘life-changing’ app for disabled transport users, which went on to be rolled out nationally across the railways in 2018.

Other programme successes include AirPortr, which allows airline passengers to check in their baggage from home, with special ticketing offers planned for passengers of Go-Ahead’s Gatwick Express service.

Mark Anderson, Head of Commercial Innovation, said: “I am delighted that Go-Ahead is once again opening up The Billion Journey Project to engage with the UK’s great transport innovators.

“For us to prepare for the future of transport it is vital that we challenge ourselves to innovate and that is exactly the ethos behind Billion Journey Project.”

Applicants selected will be invited to pitch in late November, with the winners offered expertise as well as attend ‘world-class’ workshops for 12 weeks.

The process will culminate in a ‘demo showcase’ in March 2020, which will see the small businesses present their tailored solutions to an audience including Go-Ahead executives, technology experts and potential investors. The start-ups who successfully demonstrate how their core capabilities can address Go-Ahead’s challenges will have the unparalleled opportunity to explore potential pilot partnerships with the Group.