The Education Authority (EA) has launched a new ‘Smart School Transport’ competition under the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) scheme.
The competition is aimed at digital solution providers to stimulate the development of innovative solutions to enable delivery of safer and more efficient home-to-school transport in Northern Ireland for approximately 90,000 children.
The EA ‘Smart School Transport’ competition is inviting bids from innovative companies that can provide cost-effective technologies, tools or processes to improve the utilisation of the EA fleet of approximately 800 buses and minibuses.
Sara Long, EA Director of Operations and Estates commented on the ‘Smart School Transport’ competition;
“EA offers assistance with home-to-school transport for approximately 27% of all pupils in Northern Ireland. In supporting this and ensuring our services meet the needs of young people and parents EA are committed to delivering a programme of digital transformation to improve our services.
We are delighted that EA has been successful in securing a budget of £200,000 from SBRI to facilitate in the initiation of Phase 1 of the ‘Smart School Transport’ competition and help us with our bid to offer more efficient and safer home-to-school transport.”
During Phase 1 of the competition applicants are expected to demonstrate the technical feasibility and commercial viability of proposed concepts. If applicants proposals are successful there may be follow on phases for development and testing.
A ‘Smart School Transport’ competition information session aimed at digital service providers will be held on Wednesday 1 November 2017 from 11am – 1pm at Radisson Blu Hotel, Belfast located at The Gasworks, 3 Cromac Place, Ormeau Road, BT7 2JB.
This information session will include presentations from EA and the Innovation and Specialisation Branch at the Department for the Economy, who manage the SBRI competition.
At the event attendees will receive further information regarding the application process, competition specification, an overview of the current EA school transport system and will also and have the opportunity to present questions to the panel.
Further information on the ‘Smart School Transport’ competition and details of how to register for the eventcan befound at www.eani.org.uk/smartschooltransportSBRI
EA ‘Smart School Transport’ competition bid documents are also available to download at www.etendersni.gov.uk
The deadline for applications is 3pm on Friday 1 December 2017.