APC 20: Developing automotive technologies and growing capability towards net zero

Key Features

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) provides funding, support and insight for the development of low carbon and net zero automotive technologies. In this competition round APC is investing up to £25 million.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £25 million

Opens: 10th Jan 2022

Closes: 2nd Mar 2022

Overview

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) provides funding, support and insight for the development of low carbon and net zero automotive technologies. It aims to support the UK’s transition towards net zero product manufacturing and supply chain in the UK automotive sector.

In this competition round APC is investing up to £25 million.

Scope

The aim of this competition is to seek proposals for collaborative R&D projects that design, develop and manufacture zero emission on-vehicle technologies for on-road or off-road vehicles.

Your project must:

  • support growth and security of the UK’s supply chain, increasing capability, whilst improving productivity, efficiency and competitiveness
  • deliver vehicle technologies and associated manufacturing processes which support the transition to net zero
  • contribute to the UK’s strategic aims in this area, such as the Automotive Council’s Roadmaps

Your project must advance technologies in one or more of the following areas:

  • battery cell components or systems
  • fuel cell and associated balance of plant
  • electric machines and power electronics
  • fossil-free fuel internal combustion
  • hydrogen storage and management systems
  • recycling or recovering materials from any of the above
  • digitalisation leveraged during the development, production or in-service phases

The economic benefit of your project will be assessed on criteria including but not limited to:

  • scale and impact on the UK economy
  • foreign investment anchored in the UK
  • jobs created or safeguarded
  • upskilling of workforce
  • lifetime environmental impact of the vehicle

Your proposal must evidence:

  • a clear route to market exploitation, including IP generated for the UK
  • a credible consortium led approach to the project, agreed in principle and able to proceed to a formal collaborative agreement
  • what would happen should the project not be funded

Projects will be encouraged to disseminate their results to bring benefit to the wider UK automotive industry.

APC wants to fund a portfolio of projects, across the technologies listed in the specific themes section, and a variety of markets, technological maturities and research categories.

Specific Themes

You must consider which technology or technologies best represent your project and rank them in order of their significance and impact to your project. The one ranked first must be the lead technology.

  • electric machines and power electronics
  • energy storage and energy management
  • lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures
  • thermal Propulsion Systems
  • significant reduction in vehicle development timescales
  • digitalisation for development of low carbon vehicle innovation

Your lead technology must be at least 50%.You can also rank up to an additional 2 supporting technologies that can have a maximum of 25% each.

Your percentages must add up to 100%.

 

Eligibility

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £5 million and £40 million
  • be a minimum of 50% match funded
  • start by 1 September 2022
  • last between 18 and 42 months
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Innovate UK suggest projects contain a maximum of 6 project partners.

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • have an active registered business base in the UK
  • be a grant recipient
  • involve at least one SME if the lead is not one
  • include in your consortium a vehicle manufacturer or tier 1 supplier who supplies parts directly to an original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
  • collaborate with others

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not-for-profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Non-UK registered businesses and research organisations are only eligible to apply for funding if:

  • they set up an active UK registered business where the funded project work will be carried out
  • provide evidence of an intention to expand their R&D activity in the UK during and after the project

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

Exclusions

Innovate UK are not funding projects that are:

  • focussed only on the development of clean fuels
  • not aligned with the UK’s Green Industrial Strategy
  • requesting more than 50% grant for total eligible project costs
  • dependent on export performance
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage

Funding Costs

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) invests up to £35 million, three times per year, in collaborative research and development (R&D) projects. These are pre-production projects and applicants should apply for the minimum amount of APC funding required to make the project viable. This can be up to 50% of total eligible project costs. In this round APC is investing £25 million.

A minimum of 70% of your projects total eligible project costs must be incurred by commercial organisations.

The total grant request in your application cannot exceed 50% of the total eligible project costs. This is regardless of the individual partners’ grant claims.

Of that 50% if the majority of your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

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

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

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

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

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