APC: Advanced Route to Market Demonstrator

Key Features

This fast-start competition has £10 million in funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK, to encourage UK industry to resume R&D after the Covid-19 pandemic, further accelerating the transition to zero-emission vehicles.

Programme:     APC

Award:     Share of up to £10 million

Opens: 6th Jul 2020

Closes: 7th Aug 2020

! This scheme is now closed


The purpose of this fast start competition is to encourage UK industry to resume R&D after the Covid-19 pandemic, further accelerating the transition to zero emission vehicles.


The APC are looking for collaborative, business led late stage R&D projects that will demonstrate advanced propulsion technologies.

The output of these projects must be in the form of a physical demonstrator. Capability demonstration can be through a physical vehicle, or physical sub-systems that can be operated or displayed at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle event in 2021, as a key element of the dissemination requirements.

Applications must explain how technology development will be significantly accelerated through their project and must clearly describe how these products or processes could be brought to market.

The development, deployment and demonstration of digitalisation and an understanding of how digital twins could be used in supporting the accelerated development cycle, are strongly encouraged, and projects that demonstrate correlation of digital models with actual physical demonstrator performance may be given priority.

Project applications need to demonstrate how grant for their project will result in accelerated development of their product and a potential route to market. The development and realisation of the demonstrator needs to focus on future vehicle powertrain technology themes.

These include:

  • Lightweight vehicle body, chassis and powertrain structures
  • Electric machines and power electronics
  • Energy storage and energy management systems
  • Alternative propulsion systems
  • Other disruptive low carbon vehicle technology

Vehicle applications in scope can include on and off road, agriculture, heavy duty/mining and military (including 2 wheelers).

Projects are expected to:

  • demonstrate a significant reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and improvements in air quality compared to best in class which can support the UK markets Transition to Zero
  • actively contribute to improvement in air quality
  • be market driven
  • demonstrate the commercially viability of the technologies developed.

Projects must show a clear plan for a route to market, scalability or provide a competitive advantage for the UK against other competing markets.


The Competition is open to all UK based businesses and will provide funding to the low carbon vehicle technology sector. The primary application for technologies or processes developed through this competition should be for the automotive sector but cross sector application is valuable.

Lead Partner

  • The lead partner must be a UK Based Business.
  • The lead partner is responsible for preparing and submitting the application.
  • The lead partner chooses the other project partners and forms the consortium.
  • The lead partner must work in collaboration with other businesses, research organisations or third sector organisations.
  • The lead partner is responsible for delivering the Collaboration Agreement.
  • The lead partner is responsible for managing the project.
  • The lead partner is responsible for communication with Cenex throughout the project life.
  • Organisations can lead more than one submitted application.
  • Universities, RTOs or University Group Companies cannot be the lead.
  • The lead partner must carry out the project work in the UK.
  • The lead partner must intend to exploit the results from or in the UK.
  • Collaborations must contain at least 2 grant claiming partners including the lead partner.


  • Collaboration must be between a UK based business, academic organisation, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO).
  • Collaboration must undertake the funded project work in the UK. This competition will not fund the costs of any overseas work or for any overseas partners.
  • Projects may include non-grant-receiving partners (for example, non-UK businesses).

Their costs will count towards the total project costs but they will not count as collaborators.

Funding Costs

APC has £10 million funding available, for projects as part of this funding call.

  • Projects are expected to seek between £500k to £1m grant.
  • Applications should be for the minimum amount of grant necessary to deliver your project.
  • Projects will be assessed on a cost versus benefit.
  • Projects will be funded at a max 65% grant intensity rate.
  • Project consortia must contribute the remaining 35% of the costs of the project as industry match.
  • Drawdown 85% of the grant by March 2021.
  • The final 15% of the grant will be retained until the submission and approval of the final claim and report, in September 2021.

In any project, a maximum of 30% of total grant request is available to research organisations and universities involved.

Any UK business claiming funding must be eligible to receive state aid at the time you receive an award of funding.

The percentage of costs you can claim varies depending on:

  • the type of research you are carrying out
  • the type of organisations involved

For industrial research projects, the state aid intensities of eligible project costs are:

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

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, the state aid intensities of eligible project costs are:

  • Up to 45% if you are a micro or small business
  • Up to 35% if you are a medium sized business
  • Up to 25% if you are a large business

Once successfully concluded these 12 month projects can be used to seed future development programmes in the UK, or overseas’ investment into the UK.