APC22: Industrialising net-zero automotive technology

Key Features

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of £40 million for late-stage R&D projects that help accelerate the UK towards a net zero automotive future.

Programme:     APC

Award:     Share of up to £40 million

Opens: 18th Jul 2022

Closes: 7th Sep 2022

! This scheme is closing soon

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 £40 million.

Scope

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

Your project must:

  • support growth and security of the UK’s manufacturing supply chain, increasing capability, whilst improving productivity, efficiency and competitiveness
  • deliver vehicle technologies or 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:

  • batteries, their components, management and integration systems
  • fuel cell and associated balance of plant
  • electric machines
  • power electronics
  • fossil fuel free (at the point of use) internal combustion
  • hydrogen storage and management systems
  • manufacturing processes associated with industrialising relevant net-zero technologies
  • direct recycling methods resulting in complete recovery of critical materials
  • digitalisation leveraged during the development, testing, 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
  • automotive supply chain in the UK
  • 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’.

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
  • fuel cell and associated balance of plant
  • 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 two supporting technologies that can have a maximum of 25% each.

Your percentages must add up to 100%.

Exclusions

APC 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 project costs
  • dependent on export performance
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage

Eligibility

Your project must:

  • have total costs between £5 million and £40 million
  • be a minimum of 50% match-funded
  • start by 1 March 2023
  • last between 18 and 42 months
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

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 entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian source.

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 grant claiming micro small or medium enterprise (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

Academic institutions and research organisations cannot lead projects.

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.

Funding Costs

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) invests up to £75 million per annum, in collaborative research and development (CR&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 project costs. In this round APC is investing £40 million.

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

The total grant request in your application cannot exceed 50% of the total 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

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

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.