€230,000 challenge for companies interested in working with us and other partners to find new ways to enhance the efficiency of commercial goods deliveries in both urban centres.

Phase one of this competition is now closed.

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) challenge is supported by funding from Enterprise Ireland and will run in two phases.

1.    Phase One (Summer 2018) will provide funding of up to 12,500 for four or five companies to develop initial proofs of concepts that seek to understand the impact of goods deliveries on both cities and explore ideas for new ways of working.

2.    Phase Two (Autumn 2018 to Spring 2019) will provide further funding between 50,000 and 100,000 for one to two companies to take a number successful ideas forward to a proto-typing stage.

The changing nature of urban economies, supply chain management, and the impact of online retail has had an impact on the type and volume of goods deliveries in city centres. This in turn has had an impact on the wider urban environment in terms of air quality, traffic management and infrastructure.

Both cities wish to explore what is still a poorly understood area and wish to engage with companies with innovative proposals. We are also working the NI Department for Infrastructure, UPS, local retailers, the NI Freight Transport Association and others.

Full details of the challenge can be found at smartdublin.ie/smartchallenges/lastmiledelivery

We are eager for Belfast companies to enter this competition and are working with Invest NI to offer you support.