Four projects that aim to improve road safety and reduce the number of motorcycle casualties on Welsh roads will benefit from Welsh Government research funding.
The projects were selected from 47 bids after Transport Minister Edwina Hart issued a challenge to companies, other public bodies and the voluntary sector earlier this year to submit creative ideas to help improve road safety for motorcyclists.
The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Innovation Challenge required companies to identify pioneering approaches to reduce motorcycle casualties in Wales – a priority target for the Welsh government.
Funding will now be given to the four selected companies to run feasibility studies as part of the first stage of the challenge.
Announcing the successful projects, Mrs Hart said: “We can all take pride in the fact that Welsh roads are amongst the safest in the world. However, we must avoid complacency and recognise that there is significant scope for further improvements.
“The Welsh government is committed to reducing casualties through a combination of measures including education, engineering and enforcement.
“This challenge is about harnessing potential to find tangible solutions which address key issues. I look forward to seeing how the successful projects develop.”
The selected projects are:
- An advanced helmet liner from Armourgel Ltd, which will incorporate Armourgel material into motorcycle helmets with the aim of protecting motorcyclists from rotational acceleration brain injuries
- A flexible use energy absorption and dissipation material from Tecosim Technical Simulations Ltd that can be cut to size and fitted to street furniture
- A junction alert system from Fusion Processing Ltd which will use a combination of radar and cameras to identify when a motorcyclist is approaching
- A side view light for motorcycles from Style Eyes Ltd that appears to flicker in peripheral vision, making it more noticeable to drivers at junctions.
Each project will receive up to £15,000 until December 2015 to develop their proposal. Following this, the two most promising will share funding of up to £450,000 to develop their product to a point where it can be marketed.