Innovation Exchange challenge: Advancing Vehicle Operations in Ports with 5G

The Port of Tyne is looking to engage with innovators and innovative companies to help solve their challenge of accurately tracking the movement of assets using 5G.

Opportunity Details


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Successful applicants will have the opportunity to apply their technology to develop a novel solution that will have a real life impact, may have the opportunity to partner with the Port of Tyne to bid for R&D funding to further develop the proposed project, and will be allowed site access to demonstrate their solution. There is also the potential to present at a future event as part of Maritime Innovation Week 2023.

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Within any port there are numerous logistical operations taking place at any one time, the Port of Tyne is no exception. With so many activities undertaken, keeping track of moveable assets and planning their utilisation to optimum levels can be a challenge. This can lead to inefficiencies in operations which, as well as a financial downside, can negatively impact CO2 emissions.

A port such as the Port of Tyne may carry out the following (non-exhaustive) list of operations and vehicles carrying out operations:

  • Vessel operation
  • Cargo handling equipment
  • Locomotives
  • Trucks
  • Warehouse logistics
  • Lifting
  • Conveyor belts
  • Hoppers

An example of a logistical flow through the Port of Tyne is the importation of pelletised biomass on behalf of UK power stations. Biomass currently arrives into the port and is then either transported via a range of conveyor belts or a more traditional hopper and truck method. There is currently some tracking of this process through RFID trackers on the hoppers and trucks, but the data has poor time resolution, and more real-time data collection and analytics are desired.


New solutions are sought to overcome the challenge of tracking the movement of assets through the Port of Tyne. Solutions that utilise Port of Tyne’s private 5G network are preferred.

Activities in and around the port facilities are generally planned. Planned works include:

  • Bulk, roll-on/roll-off, and container operations
  • Vessel to quayside discharging of goods
  • Vessel to flatbed
  • Flatbed to storage or direct delivery
  • Vessel-to-hopper discharging of goods
  • Hopper to truck
  • Truck to storage
  • Intersite transfer (between warehouses or storage areas)
  • Container devanning
  • General service plant/vehicles – movement around site

It is preferable that any proposed solution could be applied to multiple processes to manage vehicle operations taking place both internally and externally (though there may be limitations for indoor processes using 5G).

Successful applicants will be given the opportunity to:

  • Pitch their solutions to a panel of representatives from the Port of Tyne at an Innovate UK KTN facilitated session
  • Potential to partner with the Port of Tyne in an R&D grant-funded competition to develop solutions further
  • Develop a potential business collaboration
  • Have a potential speaking/panel slot at Maritime Innovation Week 2023 (Date TBC)

For functional and technical requirement details and operating conditions, please visit the Innovation Exchange site at the link below.

Deadline for applications: 20 February
Notification to finalists and unsuccessful applications: 
2 March
Dates for Pitching session(s): 14th or 15th March 2023

Please note that the pitch day will take place in person at the Port of Tyne Maritime Innovation Hub. Therefore we advise to make sure the team is available on those dates. If you are successful, we will provide you with further details closer to the date.


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