Transport for London (TfL) has launched a new innovation competition, which challenges businesses to come up with an “innovative and technological concept” that will reimagine the use of physical space in retail and deliver a unique experience for customers who travel using the transport network.
The competition offers the winner the chance to pilot and test out their innovative concept in reality as TfL will provide them with retail space on its estate for a year, with a value of up to £100,000, as the prize.
The transport company has said that as the needs of customers change, the retail industry is adapting and rethinking what it can offer. It added that “technology and innovation” was at “the heart” of these changes which was why it was encouraging businesses through this competition to consider how they can utilise technology and create a “novel concept”.
TfL is one of London’s largest landowners with more than 2,000 commercial units across its estate, including around 800 commercial railway arches and meanwhile spaces.
Graeme Craig, director of commercial development at TfL, said: “As one of the largest landlords in the capital, it is really exciting to launch this competition and see what creative ideas retailers will come up with to push the boundaries of industry norms. Our estate offers them a unique opportunity to test out their new and innovative concepts.
“The competition showcases to businesses, which might not otherwise consider it, how they can utilise our retail space in exciting ways and builds on our history of supporting businesses to grow and expand what they can offer to our customers.”
Rikesh Shah, head of commercial innovation at TfL, added: “This is one of a number of new approaches to innovation we are taking in TfL to access the value and creativity from innovative companies in London. Other initiatives include the pioneering London RoadLab initiative, which includes quickly developing products that could have a positive and widespread impact right across the capital’s road network, and our Open Innovation pilot with Bosch.”
The deadline for entries is midday BST on 21 June 2019. The entries will then be evaluated against a range of criteria before being shortlisted. The shortlisted companies will then be invited to present their concepts in front of a judging panel before the winner is chosen.