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Innovation Partnership to support Oxfordshire Strategic Model procurement

26 October 2018
Traffic in Oxford shown on Google maps
Traffic in Oxford shown on Google maps


In the run-up to the publication of expressions of interest for the future Oxfordshire Strategic Traffic Model (OSM) on October 23, Smarter Travel LIVE! hosted a workshop session with Oxfordshire County Council, innovation hub MoBox and Oxford-based im23, the smarter mobility agency, to outline new ways for local authorities and the tech community to collaborate. In a first for UK local authorities, Oxfordshire County Council is using its OSM procurement to demonstrate how to leverage innovation and deliver growth for local authorities. The aim is not only to develop solutions that are not currently available, but also to forge new business models and revenue opportunities for both the public and private sectors.

As a result of the collaborative approach Oxfordshire have taken in embracing innovation, their journey to date has yielded over £100 million in revenues across 38 projects and supported over 50 SMEs. This has not been without risk, and has required breaking down barriers across the authority. One key outcome of this journey was the creation of the Oxfordshire Strategic Model (OSM) Innovation Partnership Procurement.

A first for UK local authorities, Oxfordshire County Council is using this procurement to not only develop solutions that are not currently available, but also to forge new business models and revenue opportunities for both the public and private sectors. This collaborative R&D procurement brings together the cream of the tech world with local government to develop the next generation of modelling and simulations technology.

The existing Oxfordshire Strategic Model (OSM) was developed in 2013, and was one of the first to exploit Mobile Network Data (MND). Whilst this has been used to great effect over the last four years, the data within the model is now reaching the end of its useable life. Since 2013 the state of the art in modelling and simulation has evolved significantly, underpinned by the explosion of IoT, big data and new technical capabilities. Historically, the existing model has only been used to support strategic transport related investment decisions. Technical advancements across the industry now open up the possibilities to evolve towards combining the strategic elements with real time operational scenarios. This could include, but is not limited to, providing decision support for new mobility services and managing congestion.

With im23’s support, the procurement process is inviting data providers, technology, modelling and knowledge-based organisations to form consortia to create a dynamic, future-proof platform. The new platform will deliver the evidence base for infrastructure decisions to support housing and economic growth. But this is just the starting point, as it will also enable the testing and development of policies, scenarios, mobility services and the integration of operational capabilities to deliver a sustainable future. All wrapped up in an easy to use, persistent model that delivers a holistic view of mobility across the county.

Oxfordshire County Council used the lively and open workshop discussion to sow the seeds for the creation of working groups between local authorities, with the aim of sharing experiences and working together to solve common challenges. Chair Rob Hale, im23 and panellists Laura Peacock, innovation hub manager Oxfordshire County Council, Llewelyn Morgan, Innovation Lead, Oxfordshire County Council and Dr George Economides, Connected & Autonomous Vechicle lead for MoBox, used the workshop to illustrate what can be achieved by local authorities working together with tech innovators, discussing the barriers to innovation that they had experienced within their own local authorities, and sharing the positive steps they could take to overcome them, with input from the panel.

For more information about joining working groups or the OSM procurement, contact Rob Hale at

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