Catalysing Green Innovation: strand 1, advancing PEMD supply chain

Key Features

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £5 million to develop supply chain capability for power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD).

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £5 million

Opens: 16th Jun 2020

Closes: 29th Jul 2020

! This scheme is now closed


Due to the disruption caused by COVID-19 to UK industry, Driving the Electric Revolution, part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is investing up to £5 million in innovation projects that will support the UK’s continued push towards net zero carbon.

This is part of a larger effort to catalyse the green economic recovery in transport, energy and industrial sectors.


The aim of this competition strand is to facilitate UK supply chain and manufacturing capability growth in power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD). This is to enable future improvements in:

  • productivity
  • capacity
  • quality
  • efficiency

Your proposal must be able to start by 1 November 2020, show a demonstrable benefit to the UK PEMD supply chain, ideally impact on more than one application sector and demonstrate future return on investment.

Your project must be stand-alone with clear deliverables and must be exploitable through future activities.

Your project can focus on one or more of the following:

Manufacturing process development, such as:

  • innovations and approaches to improve manufacturing productivity
  • implementation of an innovative new tool into a process line
  • automation of a specific process
  • reconfiguring a process line in an innovative way to improve productivity or flexibility

Design for manufacture, such as:

  • designing/redesigning a product where the focus is on how you manufacture it more efficiently and cost effectively
  • specification of a manufacturing process
  • virtual process development (VPD) including improvements in modelling and simulation software
  • developments which enable products to be manufactured with recycling taken into consideration

Circular economy, including:

  • scale-up of processes for the recycling and recovery of materials from end-of-life PEMD products
  • life-cycle and embedded carbon analysis with a view of process improvement
  • waste reduction and process energy efficiency improvements

Innovative testing and validation processes:

  • virtual product validation
  • scale-up and/or automation of testing and validation processes, with an aim of increasing productivity

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.


To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • collaborate with other UK registered businesses, research organisations, public sector organisations or charities
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results in the UK

Academic institutions and RTOs cannot lead.

To collaborate with the lead, your UK registered organisation must be one of the following:

  • business
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not-for-profit
  • public sector organisation or
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Your organisation must carry out its project work and intend to exploit the results in the UK.

The lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding by entering their costs during the application.

Funding Costs

Up to £5 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition.

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 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.

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £100,000 and £500,000
  • start by 1 November 2020
  • last between 3 and 9 months

If your project’s total eligible costs falls outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to at least 10 working days before the competition closes. Innovate UK will decide whether to approve your request.


This competition is not funding:

  • fundamental research, feasibility studies or proof of concept projects
  • projects that are not collaborative
  • projects that focus on product development which do not focus on design for manufacture and supply chain development
  • projects that do not develop capability that will enhance UK PEMD supply chains
  • projects that do not demonstrate a return on investment