APC: ARMD3 – Advanced route to market demonstrator 3

Key Features

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £15 million for late stage R&D projects that help accelerate the UK towards a zero emission automotive future.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £15 million

Opens: 25th Mar 2024

Closes: 1st May 2024

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with the Department of Business and Trade (DBT) through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), the automotive industry and academia, to invest up to £15 million in the Advanced Route to Market Demonstrator 3 (ARMD3) competition.

These will be to accelerate the industrialisation of technologies, digital optimisation and manufacturing processes, to support the UK’s transition to a zero emissions automotive industry.


The aim of this competition is to develop and realise the demonstration of capability that could lead to further business exploitation, as a direct result of this demonstrator. This will utilise future net zero powertrain technology as a key element in the UK transition to zero emissions for the automotive sector.

Your proposal must work towards delivery of zero emissions on vehicle technologies for on-road or off-road vehicles.

Vehicle applications in scope must include:

  • on highway including last mile
  • off highway including agriculture and mining

In the case of on-road solutions, we will only support project proposals which aim to achieve zero harmful tailpipe emissions.

Capability demonstration can be through:

  • a physical vehicle
  • a physical sub-system

It can also be an equivalent digital demonstrator that can be operated or displayed at Cenex Expo in 2025, as a key element of the dissemination requirements.

Your project must demonstrate the advancement of on-vehicle technologies in one or more of the following areas:

  • energy storage, batteries and their components and integration systems
  • fuel cell systems and their components and integration systems
  • electric machines and their components and integration systems
  • power electronics and their components and integration systems
  • fossil fuel free internal combustion, at the point of use, for on-road solutions we will only support project proposals which aim to achieve zero harmful tailpipe emissions
  • lightweight materials, manufacturing, design methods and processes
  • on vehicle hydrogen storage and management systems
  • design for circular economy and sustainability, including the disassembly, recovery, and reuse of materials used in the project technologies
  • digitalisation of design for manufacture and recycling, development of zero emissions vehicle innovation, manufacture of vehicle systems and sub-systems, data analytics, redesign, test and validation and verification

Technology maturity expectations for this competition should be looking at TRL 5-6 and MRL 4-5 by completion, based on published Automotive Technology and Manufacturing Readiness Levels.

Portfolio approach

Innovate UK want to fund a variety of projects across different technologies, markets, technological maturities and research categories. Innovate UK call this a portfolio approach.

Specific Themes

You must consider which of the technologies listed below best represent your project.

If you are using multiple technologies, 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 vehicles and powertrain structures
  • fuel cell and associated balance of plant
  • thermal propulsion systems and alternative fuels
  • digitalisation for development of low carbon vehicle innovation, data analytics, redesign, test and validation and verification

Your lead technology must have a significance and impact ranking of at least 50%. You can also rank up to an additional two supporting technologies that can have a maximum of 25% each.

Your percentages must add up to 100%.


Your project must:

  • have a grant funding request of between £500,000 and £1.5 million
  • have a minimum of 50% match funded
  • last between 9 and 12 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • start by 1 October 2024
  • end by 30 September 2025

Projects must always start on the first of the month and this must be stated within your application. Your project start date will be reflected in your grant offer letter if you are successful.

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian or Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian or Belarusian source.

If you have not requested approval or your application has not been approved by APC, you will be made ineligible. Your application will then not be sent for assessment.

Lead organisation

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • have an active registered business base in the UK
  • be a grant recipient
  • collaborate with other UK registered organisations where applicable

More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.

Academic institutions and research organisations cannot lead projects.

Project team

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 by the start of the project
  • provide evidence of an intention to expand their R&D activity in the UK during and after the project

A company registration number starting with a FC or BR is not considered as a UK registered business and not eligible to apply for funding.

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service (IFS) by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once partners have accepted the invitation, they will be asked to login or to create an account in the IFS. They are responsible for entering their own project costs in the application.

To be an eligible collaboration, the lead and at least one other organisation must apply for funding when entering their costs into the application.

Non-funded partners

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.


Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.

Number of applications

There are no limits on the number of applications an organisation can be involved in.

Use of animals in research and innovation

Innovate UK expects and supports the provision and safeguarding of welfare standards for animals used in research and innovation, according to best practice and up to date guidance.

Applicants must ensure that all of the proposed work within projects, both that in the UK and internationally, will comply with the UKRI guidance on the use of animals in research and innovation.

Any projects selected for funding which involve animals will be asked to provide additional information on welfare and ethical considerations, as well as compliance with any relevant legislation as part of the project start-up process. This information will be reviewed before an award is made.


Innovate UK are not funding projects that are:

  • focussed only on the development of clean fuels
  • not aligned with the UK’s net zero research innovations framework
  • requesting more than 50% grant for total project costs
  • predominantly off vehicle
  • focussed on process or manufacturing
  • focussed on recycling
  • developing either e-Scooters or e-Bikes

Innovate UK cannot fund projects that are:

  • dependent on export performance, for example, giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example, giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product

Funding Costs

Up to £15 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

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

If 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 but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

The balance between your total project costs and the amount of grant awarded must be funded by the organisation receiving the grant.

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

Research participation

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them. Of that 30% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-S registered institution such as an academic
  • 100% of your project costs if you are an RTO, charity, not for profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation

Advanced Propulsion Centre levy

A 3.5% levy is payable to the APC by all partners on grant received.

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.