aiPod approached TBAT for a full bid-writing and submission service to secure their first UK grant funding.

Background

aiPod are a California-based technology and mobility company, who are developing a city-friendly and highly integrated urban mobility service, based on fleets of small self-driving pods. With a rapidly-growing global vision, aiPod strategically targeted the UK – and London in particular – as an ideal environment to build the partnerships needed to further develop and demonstrate their service model in a live-trial setting. The role of government-backed organisations such as the Centre for Connected Autonomous Vehicles was key to their decision, and aiPod identified the CAV3 collaborative research and development grant-funding competition as a primary target to kickstart these activities.

Funding targeted

aiPod had not previously applied for a UK grant, but assembled a broad consortium – uniting authorities, technology developers and the UK research base – proposing a £3.9 million development and trial programme.

Given the strategic importance and timeliness of securing this level of grant, aiPod made the decision to seek support preparing their application. They subsequently engaged TBAT to deliver a full bid-writing and submission service on the recommendation of a key consortium partner, for whom we had secured £8.9million grant-funding through a previous CCAV competition.

 Approach

From the initial workshop at aiPod’s London office, TBAT maintained a constant dialogue with project teams in the UK and California. As well as orchestrating the process to effectively gather information from the partners, using our project/resource planning tools, this collaborative and constructive approach allowed us to respond effectively to feedback, and navigate potential roadblocks. This understanding of aiPod’s technology and wider commercial vision enabled us to make recommendations to help further develop and define the scope of the project, within the context of the specific competition requirements.

The outcome

With TBAT’s continued assistance through the follow-on phase of the assessment process, aiPod and their partners received the full grant requested, with £2.85 million committed over 2 years. The project went live in May 2018, with the first London trials scheduled for Feb 2019.

What next

TBAT have since worked together with aiPod on other bids, having recommended us to others, already with further success. Moving forwards, aiPod aim to build on this project to accelerate complementary trials across Europe and the America over the next 12 months.

Further Information

Get in touch with
Oliver Thomas

TBAT are an “expert partner for navigating critical opportunities involving government funding for innovation” - Steve Gledden - CRO - aiPod

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