The Niche Vehicle Network 2021 Late Stage R&D Competition provides a platform for collaborative research and development in the area of low carbon vehicle technologies within the UK niche vehicle sector. It is jointly funded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and Innovate UK, delivered by the Niche Vehicle Network with support from Cenex.
Programme: Niche Vehicle Network
Award: Up to £250,000
Opens: 15th Mar 2021
Closes: 15th Apr 2021
The Competition is open to niche vehicle manufacturers, system suppliers and design/engineering or technology organisations active in the UK specialist and low volume manufacturing sector who wish to collaborate on innovative, industry-led projects.
Projects need to demonstrate the accelerated development of technologies based around one or more of the following areas, directly applicable to on-road or off highway, low carbon or zero emission UK niche vehicles:
 Must be able to demonstrate significant vehicle-level benefits to range extension, reduced energy consumption and/or negating the weight impact of adopting zero emissions propulsion systems
The following technologies are specifically out of scope and ineligible for funding in this competition stream:
Hybridisation technologies must focus solely on increasing the capability of the electrified (or non-internal combustion engine element) of the powertrain.
Applicants should ensure that their application into this competition is based upon an appropriate stage of development or technology readiness which has already been achieved:
Funding is restricted to technologies applicable to powered, wheeled road-going low carbon or zero emission UK niche vehicles. A niche vehicle manufacturer is defined as an independent UK based vehicle manufacturer producing less than 10,000 vehicles per year. Projects must be industry led, aiming to support the growth, productivity and competitiveness of the UK niche vehicle sector. The programme therefore focuses on technologies applicable to low-volume UK production.
Projects must be collaborative and industry-led by an SME. The consortium must include a niche vehicle manufacturer, tier 1 supplier or vehicle fleet operator. The competition is aimed primarily at SMEs but it is permissible to include one large company or other large organisation (such as a University or RTO) in each consortium. Two large companies may only participate where one is a niche vehicle manufacturer, tier 1 supplier or vehicle fleet operator, and the other is an RTO, University or University Group Company.
The following vehicle types are in scope:
Powered, wheeled or tracked vehicles used on-road or off-highway, with niche vehicle applicability:
The following vehicle types are out of scope:
The following costs are ineligible and should be excluded from any part of the project costs and any overhead calculations.