Our approach

How we will stimulate innovation across the highways sector

Our approach

Successful innovation requires implementation across our business from fundamental research to the effective implementation of standards.


We will actively engage with research institutions and universities to discover new knowledge.


We will use this knowledge to innovate, working with wider stakeholders and enabling test trials of new applications.

Lean - continuous improvement

Our continuous improvement processes will help us realise efficiency and productivity opportunities.


We will embed the results of our innovation in new standards.

Illustration of our approach to innovation

​What we are doing:​

  • ​leading as an active participant in research
  • finding new ways to solve our current and future challenges​s
  • strengthening our relationships with research institutions, academia, infrastructure operators and industry
  • collaborating with academic experts and specialists to align research with our strategic goals
  • attracting and developing new talent in the sector
Learn more about research and academia

Research timeline

2020-2025 Short term activities

Successfully delivering the next Road Investment Strategy.​

2025-2035 Medium term activities

Informing and supporting future Road Investment Strategies.​

2035-2050 Long-term activities

Pursuing our future aspirations leading up to 2050 and beyond

Contact us about research

​What we are doing:​

  • setting the approach and direction that will drive our innovation culture
  • providing technical leadership and advice on innovation projects, competitions and hackathons
  • developing partnerships within our organisation and with our supply chain, industry, innovation bodies and overseas roads administrations.
  • publishing the results of our projects​​​​​​​
Read our innovation and research strategy

What we are doing:​

  • realising and delivering significant efficiencies
  • developing Lean capability alongside our suppliers to improve our performance (demonstrated through our Key Performance Indicators).
  • continuously improving our (and our delivery partners) performance in safety, customer satisfaction and efficiency​.​
  • helping our teams improve how they work, demonstrated by increased productivity

What we are doing:​

  • speeding up publication of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges and updates of the Manual Contracts Highways Work​
  • improving standards departure processing​
  • developing National Highway Sector Schemes that set out competency levels for  people working on the UK road network