Up to £30 million is available to create regional centres of excellence for the development, prototyping and scale up of power electronics, machines and drives technologies. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
Programme: Innovate UK
Award: Up to £30 million
Opens: 23rd Oct 2019
Closes: 4th Dec 2019
Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is to invest up to £30 million in a single project to create a network of regional centres. The centres will be used by industry and researchers for the development and scale up of power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD) technologies. The funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).
The aim of this competition is to provide funding to establish a network of flagship physical centres. These are for the development and scale up of PEMD technologies and manufacturing processes, building on existing capabilities and expertise.
They will undertake industrialisation activities to support the growth of the UK’s PEMD supply chain, providing a location, equipment and staff expertise to undertake projects. They will not perform fundamental research as this is already funded through existing centres.
The centres must focus on all 7 of the industry sectors identified by the Driving the Electric Revolution challenge, including all levels of their supply chains from Tier N suppliers to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). These are:
The centres must help micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop and scale new PEMD technologies. You must state how you aim to achieve this.
The centres must:
Your proposal must set out:
More information regarding the objectives and operational requirements of the Centres, is available in the guidance for applicants for this competition – click here.
To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:
Academic institutions cannot work alone.
The lead organisation must demonstrate ability and experience in running large-scale research and innovation grant awards, including large capital investments.
To collaborate with the lead organisation your organisation must:
If your project is a collaboration, the lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding.
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 eligible project costs.
The winning proposal for this competition will form a major part of the delivery of the overall Driving the Electric Revolution challenge and as such will be expected to work with the other parts of the programme in a collaborative manner.
The centres will be expected to attend all cohort meetings with other collaborative projects funded by the Challenge to share non-commercially sensitive results and best practice, and to encourage further collaboration and project opportunities.
Up to £30 million has been allocated to fund a single project in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.
It is expected that your total eligible project costs to be up to £50 million by 31 March 2024.
Funding from UK Research and Innovation must end by 31 March 2024. This will be the end of ‘the project’ with regard to the grant draw down. The centres must operate for 10 years in total from the date of the funding agreement being signed.
The centres -should invest their funding in capital equipment, ideally within the first 18 months. This is to enable themselves as operational and open for business. You must set this out in your application, including a detailed plan for the investment necessary to equip the centres.
Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, has the right to consider alternative funding mechanisms, such as a loan or repayable grant. This will be dependent on:
You can apply for funding support of up to 100% of your eligible project costs if you are a non-profit distributing research organisation. In this case, you must demonstrate how the co-funding for investment in the centres will be contributed to the project.
Innovate UK expect investment levels from industry and other sources to be significant. They have a target of £82 million of leverage from industry up to March 2024. The successful application must show how the proposed centres will operate at all times in compliance with its proposed status, whether as a research organisation or another compliant model, for the duration of the Innovate UK funded period. Your project’s compliance will be checked through periodic audits.
You must state how much economic and non-economic activity you will undertake as part of your operating model. Set out how this will be managed, reported and audited to Innovate UK.