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Transport & Health Dragons’ Den-style Event - 27 June

UCL Transport Institute is inviting submissions for a travel behaviour change Dragons’ Den-style event. The aim is to identify one or more well-defined interventions which have the potential to make a significant impact on the nation’s travel behaviour, and individuals’ activity levels in particular.

Why we’re holding this event
The lack of physical activity and consequent impacts on health and wellbeing have been well publicised recently – it has been calculated that growing levels of obesity, diabetes and mental health problems as a result of inactivity are costing the UK at least £8bn a year[1].  At the same time, car use is increasing[2] with consequent problems of air quality and road congestion. The aim of this event is to identify practical ways of influencing behaviour which can help to address these problems.

What is the nature of the event?
The format of the event is a Dragons’ Den-style competition, with the best bids winning a package of support from UCL Transport Institute designed to get them funded.
The competition will be on Monday 27 June at UCL in central London.  During the day, participants will form bid teams and spend time preparing for their pitch to the ‘Dragons’, with the help of experts and potential co-investigators from the transport and health sectors.
Prior to the competition, we shall compile the set of competitor bids from submissions made by candidate “proposers” (see what do I need to do? below).

Who are the ‘Dragons’?
The “Dragons” are well known experts in the fields of transport and health:
· Stephen Joseph OBE (Chief Executive, Campaign for Better Transport)
· Lucy Saunders (Public Health Specialist, Transport for London/Greater London Authority)
· Steve Watkins (Chair, Transport and Health Study Group and Director of Public Health, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council)

What do I need to do?
We are interested in hearing from those with an idea that they wish to put forward themselves (“proposers”), and from individuals interested in joining one of the bid teams on the day (“experts”).  All you need to do is register your interest in one or both of these categories (proposer and/or expert) by filling in this very short on-line form (https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/H2ZFSPK).  If you’re in the proposer category, you’ll need to include some information about your idea and, if you’re in the expert category, you’ll need to include some information about your areas of expertise and interest.

We need to hear from proposers by 31 May.

We invite experts to put themselves forwards up to 7 June.

How will ideas be shortlisted for inclusion in the competition?
We are most interested in ideas which are cost-effective and scalable so can be deployed around the country to make a significant impact on the nation’s travel behaviour and personal health.  Approaches which build on proven methods and/or which have a sound theoretical grounding will be prioritised, as will those which can be expected to achieve sustained change through the adoption of more active everyday behaviours which can become part of a regular routine.

We hope to hear from you!

Best wishes
Tom Cohen PhD
Deputy Director
UCL Transport Institute
University College London
Chadwick Building
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT
020 7679 2276 (internal: 32276)
07504 402113
[email protected]

[1] See for example, “At least five a week-Evidence on the impact of physical activity and its relationship to health, A report from the Chief Medical Officer” (2004)
[2] Vehicle kilometres increased by 2.4% between 2013 and 2014 (Source: Transport Statistics Great Britain 2015, Department for Transport)