Faraday Battery Challenge Round 5 Innovation: Feasibility Studies

Key Features

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £25 million across two strands, for innovation in propulsion battery technologies for electric vehicles.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £25 million

Opens: 23rd May 2022

Closes: 17th Aug 2022

Overview

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £25 million in innovation projects across the two strands of this competition. This funding is from the Faraday Battery Challenge (FBC).

The aim of this competition is to:

  • support business-led research and development of sustainable propulsion batteries
  • support technologies with the potential to enter the automotive market within the next 15 years and, where appropriate, allow for early or synergistic entry into other sectors
  • move UK battery innovations from technological potential towards commercial capability
  • develop and secure material and manufacturing supply chains for battery technologies in the UK

This competition is split into 2 strands:

Feasibility studies:

  • will draw on the most exciting, high potential impact, early-stage research where a feasibility study of less than 12 months, can catalyse the route to commercialisation
  • will support short term focused projects which could open avenues for overcoming big challenges in manufacturing or other critical processes for advancing the technology

Your proposal must clearly show how this feasibility study has the potential to accelerate the development of technologies or business practices which could significantly advance the performance characteristics of batteries for electric vehicles.​

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are entering the appropriate strand of the competition for your project.

You will not be able to transfer your application to the other strand, it will not be sent for assessment if it is out of scope.

Scope

The Faraday Battery Challenge (FBC) aims to:

  • ensure the UK automotive sector meets its net zero commitments in the required timescale, by enabling the development and scale-up of sustainable battery technologies
  • ensure the UK prospers from a just and fair transition to electrification, by taking action to develop a world class intellectual and physical supply chain for batteries in the UK

The aims of this competition are to:

  • support business-led research and development of sustainable propulsion batteries
  • support technologies with the potential to enter the automotive market within the next 15 years and, where appropriate, allow for early or cooperative entry into other sectors
  • move UK battery innovations from technological potential towards commercial capability
  • develop and secure material and manufacturing supply chains for battery technologies in the UK

Technoeconomic research carried out in collaboration with the FBC, indicates that batteries for transport electrification can generally be classified into the following cross sector cell level performance clusters:

  • power focused, weight sensitive
  • power focused, cost sensitive
  • energy focused, cost sensitive
  • energy focused, weight and power sensitive

Projects must balance specific technical, market and business requirements for developing and emerging technologies and enable UK competitiveness across the battery value chain.

Innovate UK are particularly interested in projects that are focused on the following:

  • high power and high energy density, where safety can enable high performance applications
  • low cost and lower energy density technologies with lower reliance on critical minerals such as Cobalt and Nickel
  • technologies enabling high cycle life
  • technologies developing sustainable batteries, for example, which improve resource efficiency, reduce energy intensity of processes or increase recyclability
  • building and securing the UK supply chain
  • development of more efficient and globally competitive manufacturing processes

Your project can achieve these through a combination of innovations in process improvement, cell chemistry, cell-to-pack efficiency and novel design concepts. We expect successful projects to increase productivity, competitiveness and growth for UK businesses.

Innovate UK want to fund a variety of projects across the propulsion battery value chain and different technologies.

Specific Themes

Your project must focus on:

  • extraction and processing of raw materials
  • development and manufacture of cell materials and components
  • design and manufacture of novel cell, module and pack concepts
  • end of life and recycling technologies
  • development of the UK battery supply chain
  • enabling physical and digital technologies which support the design, development, optimisation and deployment of propulsion batteries

Where project activities require:

  • an Environmental Permit (England and Wales)
  • Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland and Northern Ireland) Permit
  • a Waste Management Licence (Scotland and Northern Ireland)
  • you to comply with the Waste Battery and Accumulator Regulations (UK)

Projects must provide proof of compliance to the satisfaction of Innovate UK as part of UK Research and Innovation to enable an application to be successful.

This may include (but is not restricted to):

  • a valid permit
  • a valid licence
  • an approved battery treatment operator (ABTO) status details
  • an agreed regulatory position statement or definition of waste opinion by either the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency or Northern Ireland Environment Agency

 

Eligibility

Your project must:

  • have total costs between £100,000 to £750,000
  • start by 1 January 2023
  • end by 31 December 2023
  • last up to 12 months
  • carry out all of 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
  • collaborate with other UK registered organisations
  • be or involve at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)

Academic institutions, RTOs, charities, not for profit or public sector organisations cannot lead or work alone.

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 by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

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

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 a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

Exclusions

Innovate UK are not funding projects that are:

  • fundamental research projects or projects which are academic intensive
  • business as usual
  • non-collaborative
  • aiming to secure funding for capital equipment as a primary focus
  • not giving due consideration to the cost, market and business requirements of the technology
  • not demonstrating a viable route to entry into the automotive market within an approximate 15 year timeframe
  • focusing on physical integration of battery technologies into vehicles
  • 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 £25 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition across both strands:

Up to £2 million has been allocated for this feasibility studies strand.

Innovate UK reserve the right to take a portfolio approach for funding across the two strands.

Funding will be in the form of a grant.

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 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 50% 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 50% 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

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.