SBRI: Thistle Assistance App to Help People with Disability use Public Transport

Funding opportunity:

SBRI: Thistle Assistance App to Help People with Disability use Public Transport



Funder and programme:

Can Do Innovation Challenge Fund – Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI)


Up to £ 30,000 (Phase 1, feasibility study)
Up to £ 150,000 (Phase 2, prototype development & testing)



Registration closes:

02/01/2019 (12:00 noon)

Competition closes:

09/01/2019 (12:00 noon)

Organisations can apply for a share of £150,000, including VAT, to develop a mobile app to help people with disabilities when travelling on public transport.

This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition, funded by the Can Do Innovation Challenge Fund and sponsored by the South East of Scotland Transport Partnership (SEStran).

The aim is to:

  • identify and understand in detail the challenges faced by people with disabilities when travelling;
  • explore how much these affect travel plans and choices about which modes of transport to use;
  • develop a door-to-door journey planning and wayfinding solution that helps alleviate them.

The solution must be a mobile application that shows:

  • relevant route information in a clear way;
  • which travel option to use;
  • where and when to get on and off;
  • what to do if lost.

It must also allow a carer to see where the user is and communicate with them.

This is Phase 1 of a potential 2-phase competition. A decision to proceed with Phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from Phase 1. Only successful applicants from Phase 1 will be able to apply to take part in Phase 2.

In Phase 1, research and development contracts will be awarded to demonstrate technical feasibility of the proposed solution.

Up to 5 projects are expected to be funded. Bids that bring together a consortium of sector specialists are welcomed.

The successful Phase 1 applicants will be able to apply for up to two R&D contracts in Phase 2. Up to £150,000, including VAT, will be allocated for each contract, in order to develop a prototype and undertake field testing in Scotland for up to 12 months.

Total project costs for Phase 1 are expected to range in size up to £30,000, including VAT, for each organisation. Projects must start by 1 April 2019, end by 1 October 2019 and can last up to 6 months.

MSC R&D can help your business develop by supporting you in:
• Identification of appropriate grants and competition calls for proposals
• Partner search for collaborative Research & Innovation
• Bid writing
• Project management
• Audit compliance
• Commercialisation
• Business Planning
• Market Intelligence reports

If you want help with any of these opportunities, please CONTACT us on 0114 230 8401 or email