ATF: moving the UK automotive sector to zero emissions

Key Features

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £10 million for feasibility studies to support industrialisation of the UK’s high-value electrified automotive supply chain.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £10 million

Opens: 13th Jul 2020

Closes: 19th Aug 2020

! This scheme is now closed


The Automotive Transformation Fund, delivered by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and partners, will support the industrialisation at scale of a high-value electrified automotive supply chain in the UK.


The aim of this competition is to support commercially led research and development in the design of elements of the electric automotive supply chain. Projects must focus on both of the following:

  • making it easier to scale up in the UK
  • building supply chains in the UK

Your project’s primary focus must be the automotive market.

Your project can focus on technological improvements or developing new business models. APC encourages projects that bring new investment and new businesses into the sector in the UK.

Your project must fulfil one or more of the following:

  • de-risk scaling up innovative technologies across the electric supply chain
  • remove the technical or commercial barriers to manufacture in the UK
  • support the overall aim of the Automotive Transformation Fund to establish a competitive and sustainable UK supply chain

APC is particularly looking for projects that support the UK’s long-term supply chain, associated capabilities and growth aspirations.

At the end of the feasibility study, APC expects projects to be:

  • ready to continue in future research and development and or capital competitions


  • able to raise private sector investment to take the project outcome to market

Your feasibility study can focus on one of the following scale-up opportunities, or on something else in the scope of this competition which meets the aim of the Automotive Transformation Fund.

Product scale up feasibility

You can either focus on one or more of the products below or on the materials and components that go into the product:

  • anode
  • cathode
  • vehicle platform and cell format
  • fuel cell
  • power electronics

Process and facility scale up feasibility

You can either focus on one of the processes named below or on the materials and components that go into the process:

  • battery manufacture
  • fuel cell manufacture


To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

Non-UK registered companies and research organisations are eligible to apply for funding as a lead or part of a project team if they:

  • set up an active UK registered business before they start their project
  • start their project on 1 November 2020
  • carry out all funded work in the UK
  • meet all other criteria stated above.

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business, academic institution, charity, not-for-profit, public sector organisation, research and technology organisation (RTO) or a non-UK registered company or research organisation
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Funding Costs

As part of the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF), The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) has allocated up to £10 million to match fund feasibility studies in this competition.

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs up to £1.5 million
  • start on 1 November 2020
  • end by 31 March 2021
  • last between 3 and 5 months

You must request the minimum amount of funding needed for your project.

If your organisation’s work on the project is mostly commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

For feasibility studies projects, you could get funding of:

  • up to 70% of your eligible project costs if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% of your eligible project costs if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 50% of your eligible project costs 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.

Of that 30%, research organisations in the consortium could get funding for their eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if they are an academic institution
  • 100% of their eligible project costs if they are an RTO

If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them.

If your project’s total eligible costs or duration fall outside of the above criteria, you must contact the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) directly on +44(0)24 7652 8700 at least 10 days before the competition closes. APC will decide whether to approve your request.


This competition is not funding:

  • dedicated internal combustion engine projects
  • business-as-usual projects which maintain the status quo or do not demonstrate innovation
  • zero carbon fuels
  • vehicle charging
  • projects which do not meet the aim of the Automotive Transformation Fund