APC 10: advancing the UK’s low carbon automotive capability

Key Features

Up to £30 million of collaborative match funding is available for UK-developed late stage R&D to support advanced low carbon propulsion technologies in automotive.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Up to £30m

Opens: 30th Apr 2018

Closes: 27th Jun 2018

! This scheme is now closed

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) invests approximately £30 million, 3 times a year, in collaborative research and development (R&D) projects. These are pre-production projects and must be match funded.

APC 10 is seeking proposals for UK based R&D projects that significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions and improve air quality. The projects must focus on technologies directly linked with the long-term development of zero-emission capability, such as:

  • motors
  • batteries
  • power electronics
  • hybridisation
  • alternative propulsion systems

The project’s primary application should be for the automotive industry. APC is particularly looking for projects that support the UK’s long-term capabilities in the design, build and manufacture of zero-emission vehicles. These projects should help make those capabilities a permanent part of the UK supply chain.

APC 10 is seeking proposals for collaborative R&D projects that demonstrate the development of on-vehicle technologies for on or off-road vehicles. These must accelerate the development of low and zero emission technology.

The project must be focused on one or more of the following technology areas:

  • alternative propulsion systems
  • electric machines and power electronics
  • energy storage and energy management
  • lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures
  • thermal propulsion systems

In your application you should:

  • have a proven technology concept that is both commercial and technically viable
  • demonstrate a clear route to market, alongside a consortium able to deliver this
  • demonstrate that the primary application of the project is for the automotive industry
  • demonstrate the economic benefits of the project, such as new and safe-guarded jobs, new business activity or an expansion of products and services
  • show how the project will support upskilling and knowledge sharing in the UK
  • demonstrate that the majority of the technologies are proven in a vehicle representative environment
  • show how you will progress from proven concept to production-ready
  • show that the project delivers additional impact beyond what would be achieved in business as usual
  • show what would happen to the project if funding is not successful and why the specific amount of funding is needed
  • demonstrate how UK plc will benefit from any intellectual property generated by the project

To be eligible for funding:

  • you must have an active business base within the UK
  • your project must be collaborative and business led
  • the lead participant must be a grant recipient
  • your consortium must include a vehicle manufacturer or tier 1 supplier (who supplies parts directly to an original equipment manufacturer)
  • your consortium must include a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)

Non-UK based companies and research organisations are eligible to apply for funding if:

  • they set up an active UK business base before project start, where the funded work will be carried out
  • provide evidence that they intend to expand their R&D activity in the UK beyond the life of the project

Non-UK based companies can join the consortium but cannot apply for funding.

Research and technology organisations (RTOs) are not eligible to lead an APC project but can participate.

Your project should support the development of UK supply chain capability. If overseas subcontracting is required, you must provide evidence to show why this cannot take place within the UK, and how the funding of overseas contractors will benefit the UK economy.

Total eligible project costs can range from £5 million to £40 million. The project can last between 18 and 42 months.

Each project will attract no more than 50% of public funding towards its total eligible project costs, of which:

  • at least 70% must be incurred by commercial organisations
  • a maximum of 30% is available to research participants, and if there is more than one research participant, this amount will be shared between them

Your project can focus on industrial research or experimental development. Commercial phase projects cannot be funded.

For industrial research, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  1. up to 70% if you are a small business
  2. up to 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  3. up to 50% if you are a large business

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  1. up to 45% if you are a small business
  2. up to 35% if you are a medium-sized business
  3. up to 25% if you are a large business