Apply now: Transport Pathfinder

If you have an inspirational, life-enhancing idea, prototype, or plan that reimagines how transport options in the UK can better support a rapidly ageing population to stay connected, active, and independent for longer, we want to hear from you!

Apply now: Transport Pathfinder

Up to £120k funding available

Deadline:   February 27, 2023

Do you have an inspirational, life-enhancing idea, prototype, or plan to reimagine how transport options in the UK can better support a rapidly ageing population to stay connected, active, and independent for longer?

If so, we want to hear from you!  Submit an application to Design Age Institute's new Transport Pathfinder Innovation Programme, with up to £120k available per project.  Interested applicants are encouraged to watch our recent virtual briefing event introducing the programme and attend an application support workshop

  • Check your eligibility at the bottom of this page to access the full application form and submit your application by 12:00pm (GMT) on Monday 27 February
  • Read the Application Notes and Terms & Conditions for details on what we can and cannot fund

About the Programme 

Funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agencyDesign Age Institute’s Transport Pathfinder Innovation Programme invites innovators, businesses and entrepreneurs from across the UK to propose transport solutions at ideation stage or beyond that are commercially viable, demonstrate creativity and innovation, and can be supported towards market by investment in good design. 

Approximately one third of older people in the UK report unmet travel needs, which worsen with progressing age (Luiu et al, 2016). There is a pressing need for innovation and scalable approaches that can meet the increasing demand for multiple transport options that are safe, affordable, sustainable and desirable.  

Whether on foot, wheels or tracks, good design has the potential to help transform how we socialise, work, and navigate the cities, towns, offices, neighbourhoods and homes of our future selves.  

Please note that a separate competition focused on Personal Mobility solutions will be announced later in Spring 2023. You can find details on the definitions of Transport and Personal Mobility in our Application Notes and Terms & Conditions. Please subscribe to our mailing list to receive the latest updates on how to apply. 

What Design Age Institute provides 

The Transport Pathfinder Innovation Programme, builds on Design Age Institute’s successful Pathfinder Innovation Programme, which supports innovators to find a route to market for products and services using seed-funding for design interventions alongside design management support and mentoring. 

 Awardees will receive:   

  • Seed-funding of up to £120k* to undertake the design elements of projects and support projects towards market
  • Design management support and mentoring (not project management) from our team of experts in design for healthy ageing 
  • Access to existing research, exclusive insights into the healthy ageing marketplace, and peer-networking
  • Skills development and training opportunities 
  • Support to run two research development sessions with end users 

* Note that while £120k is the maximum that can be applied for, we are looking for a breadth of entries on cost, and value for money will be a key assessment criterion.

** Note that VAT is excluded from the seed funding and cannot be claimed by awardees.  

Application support 

Applicants are encouraged to watch our recent  virtual briefing event and to attend one of two application support workshops.  Workshops will be held  in person at the Royal College of Art in Battersea on Thursday 9 February 2022 2-4pm (GMT) and online on Monday 20 February 2pm-4pm (GMT). 

Who can apply 

If you are a business, innovator or entrepreneur with an idea that has the potential to positively impact transport for an ageing population at scale, and help to change the narrative on ageing, Design Age Institute can help you to successfully tap into the UK’s growing healthy ageing marketplace.  

We are keen to work with companies, organisations, entrepreneurs and start-ups based in and operating in the UK. We welcome applications from people in all sectors and backgrounds regardless of a track record in business or entrepreneurship. 

Check your eligibility

Download Application Notes  

If you meet the minimum eligibility criteria you will be invited to access the full application form and submit your application by 12:00pm (GMT) on Monday 27 February.

Please fully read the Application Notes and Terms & Conditions for details on project parameters, applicant eligibility, and assessment criteria.  

If you have any questions please contact Melanie Andrews, Design Manager at [email protected]

Find out more about Design Age Institute

Meet our team of experts in the About Us section, and find out about our current Pathfinder Projects.

You can also follow us @DesignAge_ on Twitter, Instagram & LinkedIn and sign up to receive all the latest news and opportunities from Design Age Institute at the bottom of this page.

Answer the following questions to check your eligibility