Earlier this year, Addison Lee Group asked me to head up its new mobility innovation arm, called mVentures, which was set up to help other players in the field of mobility – from start-ups to established global auto manufacturers – bring their ideas, products or services to market.

Addison Lee already has the platform, expertise and algorithms to deliver passenger services at a premium level on a global scale – but the company is keen to push innovation boundaries. mVentures provides a win-win situation, helping Addison Lee find new collaborators and helping these partners develop their product or service offering by testing on a small scale prior to full-scale roll-out.

mVentures launched via LinkedIn on 12 April and within days had generated interest from over a hundred organisations, both in the UK and overseas. The first task for EQ+iQ is to evaluate the initial batch of applications and select partners whose projects will bring most benefit to both parties. Up to five projects will be chosen for the first cohort; they could be of any duration from two weeks to six months. The first set of partners will be announced at the end of May and work on their projects will start soon after. A further cohort will be selected towards the end of 2019.

There are five core areas of interest: electric vehicles, big data, new business models, autonomous vehicles and connectivity. Projects in the first cohort are likely to focus on the first three categories.

mVentures differs from other innovation hubs in that it provides all the required facilities under one roof, using Addison Lee’s established models, methods and routes to market, rather than pulling in expertise from a number of different providers. It also offers a direct route to market for partner companies – projects which prove successful will move to a long-term commercial agreement in order to take the partnership to the next level. The mVentures team is based at Addison Lee’s global HQ in Paddington, London.

It’s incredibly exciting to be involved in mVentures; not only does it indicate Addison Lee Group’s openness to collaboration but it also offers an ideal opportunity for UK organisations to accelerate their mobility development in an unprecedented way. Fascinating times ahead!