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Innovating for Clean Air in India

Energy Systems Catapult, Connected Places Catapult and Satellite Applications Catapult collaborated on a joint programme to harness private sector and academic expertise from the UK and India to support the development of electric vehicle (EV) integration and clean air innovation in Bengaluru, India.

X-catapult initiative
pilot projects
new MoUs/commercial contracts between Indian and UK organisations
Indian and UK SMEs/start-up businesses supported

The IfCA team has been an outstanding support to our business throughout the programme. Proactive, engaging, and full of excellent ideas, the team have consistently provided us with opportunities to grow the business. The programme provides access to a wide network and offers a deep set of resources, and we’ve learnt a great deal along the way. It has positioned our business very well to expand internationally and we look forward to the future benefits this will bring.

Harry Young
Co-founder, Airhead

UK & India collaboration to introduce clean air innovations

Reducing Internal Combustion Engine vehicle usage could have a hugely positive impact on air quality in India and across the world, as well as support climate change efforts, with around 23% of energy‐related gas emissions thought to be produced by transport. In 2019, Energy Systems Catapult, Connected Places Catapult and Satellite Applications Catapult launched the Innovating for Clean Air (IfCA) project with collaborative partners in India to address these challenges. The project was funded by Innovate UK Netwon Fund, with matched resources by Indian partners such as the Directorate of Urban Land Transport and Indian Institute of Science, and focused on the Karnataka state capital city of Bengaluru.

The Catapults worked with UK and Indian stakeholders to identify some of the key Electric Vehicle (EV) and air quality challenges in Bengaluru and launched an open call to find UK and Indian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who could deliver innovative solutions.

Working through the Covid 19 pandemic presented challenges which the team at Ifca overcame with resolve and determination. Energeo made connections which have translated into 2 pilot projects that we hope will allow us to launch our products across the Indian market. This is as much as we could have hoped for if physical travel had been possible.

Mike Battersby
CMO, Energeo

The aim was to demonstrate and improve the selected EV and air quality products and services through deployment in real-life urban testbeds while creating tangible collaboration opportunities for UK and Indian innovators.

The Clean Air Testbeds involved a cohort of 17 UK and Indian SMEs, with 9 selected to deploy solutions on the Clean Air Street – Church Street, one of the busiest streets in the Central Business District of Bengaluru– which was closed tp internal combustion engine vehicles and reprioritised clean mobility on weekends to enable this.

Other businesses in the cohort deployed solutions in multiple locations across the city, including office buildings, residential areas, schools, and university campuses.

This project has successfully contributed to the development of a business ecosystem to address the challenges of air quality and the EV transition in Bengaluru and serves as a showcase for innovative UK and Indian solutions working together to tackle climate change.

The testbed location has been aptly chosen at a business-centric area and the positioning of electric vehicles in the backdrop of musical jam, outdoor dining and the emphasis on a clean air street made it an apt environment to try out products and secure the right audience. In conclusion, we wanted to provide our products to the users to experience and understand their response and we were able to do it effectively. Users were aware of electric vehicles and were interested to try out the vehicles.