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.
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.