Automotive Transformation Fund Feasibility Studies: Round 5

Key Features

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £2 million. This is for business case feasibility studies to support scale up of the UK’s zero emission automotive supply chain.

Programme:     APC

Award:     Share of up to £2 million

Opens: 10th Apr 2024

Closes: 17th May 2024

! This scheme is now closed


The Automotive Transformation Fund is delivered by the Department of Business and Trade in partnership with the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), Innovate UK and partners. It supports the industrialisation at scale of a high value electrified automotive supply chain in the UK.

The Department for Business and Trade has taken responsibility for some of the functions of the former Department of Business and Trade (DBT) and Department for International Trade (DIT).


The aim of this competition is to fund feasibility studies which must produce a decision ready business case. This is in preparation for projects which will develop large scale manufacturing facilities in the UK.

The Automotive Transformation Fund will support the industrialisation at scale of a high value automotive supply chain for net zero technologies in the UK.

More information on the Automotive Transformation Fund can be found on the APC website.

Your business case feasibility studies must:

  • result in a detailed business case enabling a decision either to invest in the project, and therefore the UK, or showing clearly the additional steps or measures to do so
  • be commercialised within the automotive sector, but this does not exclude spill over use in other sectors
  • provide a detailed feasibility study and business case, setting out the commercial case for future investment, including your technical approach, objectives, and costed plan
  • deliver a closeout report and attend a meeting with APC to review the business case, its outcomes and next steps, prior to closure and payment of the final claim

Portfolio approach

APC want to fund a variety of projects across different technologies, markets, themes and research categories. APC call this a portfolio approach.

Specific Themes

Your business case must prioritise the scale up in areas mentioned in the Automotive Transformation Fund Strategy for an electrified supply chain.

Priority will be given to projects which have particular focus on a circular materials economy. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • recycling of critical materials
  • design for disassembly and materials recovery
  • remanufacturing and reuse of components

APC are also interested in receiving applications from:

  • specialist cell
  • module
  • cell to pack

Who are potential manufacturers, keen to explore the business case of the UK, as a manufacturing location for support of UK original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Your project must prioritise scale up and can focus on but not be limited to:


  • including cells and gigafactories
  • cathode materials and manufacturing
  • anode materials and manufacturing
  • electrolyte
  • cell assembly components, including separators
  • module to pack
  • cell to pack

Electric motors and drives

  • magnet materials and manufacturing
  • electrical steel materials and manufacturing
  • electrical machine assembly
  • drive line components
  • assembly and test into complete drive unit

Power electronics

  • wide band gap semiconductors
  • sensors
  • passives
  • power electronics assembly

Fuel cells

  • membrane electrode assembly (MEA), including subcomponents, or solid oxide ceramics fuel cell stack assembly
  • storage tanks

Sectors in scope can include the supply chain for on and off road vehicles, agriculture, heavy duty and mining.


Your project must:

  • have a grant funding request of between £200,000 and £500,000
  • be a maximum of 50% grant funded
  • last up to six 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 31 March 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.

Lead organisation

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • request grant funding
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

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

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

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)

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 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 restrictions on the number of applications on which an eligible organisation can lead or partner in. Successful applicants will be asked to confirm you have the capacity to run multiple projects simultaneously.

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.

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.

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

You can make a maximum of two submissions to Innovate UK with any given proposal. If Innovate UK judges that your proposal is not materially different from your previous proposal, it will be counted towards this maximum.

If your application goes through to assessment and is unsuccessful, you can reapply with the same proposal once more.


APC are not funding projects that are:

  • not aligned with the aims of the Automotive Transformation Fund
  • not of sustained benefit to the automotive sector primarily
  • centred on technologies or processes which are too early stage to scale at pace
  • focussed primarily on fossil-fuelled internal combustion technology
  • focussed primarily on the use of digital or data technologies
  • centred on low carbon fuels for combustion engines
  • focused on the production of hydrogen
  • centred around off vehicle charging infrastructure
  • focussed on a micro mobility application
  • focused on vehicle level production

APC 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 £2 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

Your total grant funding request must be between £200,000 and £500,000 and no more than 50% of your total project costs. This is regardless of your individual partners’ grant claims.

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 feasibility studies, 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

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

APC levy

In securing funding from this programme, each participant receiving a grant will pay an industrial contribution to the APC operating budget. This is set at 3% and is payable on each 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.