Overview

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) invests up to £30 million, up to 3 times a year, in collaborative research and development (R&D) projects. These are pre-production match-funded projects. In this round APC is investing £25 million.

Your project must concentrate on the automotive market as its primary application.

APC 19 is looking for:

  • projects that support the UK’s long-term capabilities through securing long-term R&D investment
  • projects that can be achieved through its associated supply chain in the design, build and manufacture of zero tailpipe emission vehicles

Your project will preferably deliver both of these, to ensure the UK meets the future demand of vehicle-makers.

Scope

Your project must address one of the following:

  1. Accelerate the development of technologies capable of low and zero tailpipe emissions, considering their associated ‘cradle to grave’ supply chains, up to and including end of life.
  2. Demonstrate a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions leading to air quality improvements.

Your proposal must clearly align with the UK’s Industrial Strategy and must demonstrate how high value R&D will take place in the UK as a result of this funding.

APC is particularly looking for projects that support the UK’s long-term supply chain, associated capabilities and growth aspirations. This includes improving productivity and competitiveness in the design, build and manufacture of vehicles that are capable of low and zero tailpipe emissions.

Technologies in scope are:

  • motors
  • batteries
  • power electronics
  • hybridisation
  • alternative propulsion systems

Your project must support the growth of these technologies, creating more jobs and capability throughout the UK supply chain.

Your application should demonstrate a positive impact on the UK economy. This can include but is not limited to projects that will make a major investment in:

  • creating new supply chains supporting the transition to electrification and zero emission vehicles
  • adding resilience to existing supply chains under a variety of circumstances where applicable such as low, medium, high production, niche, off highway, commercial or volume passenger vehicles
  • the delivery of a UK centric high value manufacturing and sourcing footprint
  • lowering the overall cost of goods sold to customers
  • connecting less productive or mature elements of existing UK supply chain, leading to business efficiencies and helping to reduce uncertainty and risk
  • recovering or reclaiming raw materials that can be used as new automotive product feedstock, resulting in improving the resilience and competitiveness of associated automotive supply chains.
  • attracting new companies not traditionally delivering products, services or skills in automotive into the sector
  • risk screening and due diligence to identify risks in the proposed supply chain developments
  • improving the manufacturing readiness level (MRL) of your technology

Your project can either focus directly on improving the MRL, or it can create step changes in development processes, manufacturing processes or supply chain enhancements that will lead to an improved MRL.

Your application must show:

  • a clear route to market exploitation and have a consortium able to deliver this
  • the economic benefits of the project, such as new and safe-guarded jobs, new business activity, or an expansion of products and services
  • that the primary application of the project is for the automotive industry
  • how the project will support upskilling and knowledge sharing in the UK
  • that the project delivers impacts that would not be achieved in business as usual
  • what would happen to the project if funding is not successful and why the specific amount of funding is needed
  • how UK plc will benefit from any intellectual property generated by the project
  • that you will demonstrate the majority of the technologies in a system or major sub system in a vehicle representative environment

APC wants to fund a portfolio of projects, across the technologies listed in the specific themes section, and a variety of markets, technological maturities and research categories.

APC strongly encourage you to:

  • demonstrate senior management commitment to the project and consortium
  • ensure the consortium’s collaboration agreement is well advanced at the point of submission
  • include the most important supply chain members in your consortium
  • show how you will get disruptive technologies to market faster
  • contact and work with organisations that are an important part of the supply chain but are not typically involved in R&D, such as tooling, manufacturing processes and materials
  • focus on alternative propulsion systems which move the industry towards zero emissions, including hybridisation
  • consider the possibility of technology transfer to and from other sectors into automotive
  • focus on technologies that are identified in the Automotive Council’s roadmaps
  • focus on lasting growth with the electric and electrified vehicle supply chain
  • consider how to make results from this work public, where it helps share best practice while not damaging commercial interests Read more about dissemination of your results in the Innovate UK funding rules.

APC will also consider projects that focus on the significant reduction of carbon dioxide or improvement of air quality from advanced internal combustion engines, especially those using clean fuels. Projects focusing solely on clean fuels are out of scope.

Eligibility

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £5 million and £40 million
  • be a minimum of 50% match funded
  • start by 1st April 2022
  • last between 18 and 42 months

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be UK registered business of any size
  • have an active registered business base in the UK
  • be a grant recipient
  • involve at least one SME if the lead is not one
  • include in your consortium a vehicle manufacturer or tier 1 supplier who supplies parts directly to an original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
  • collaborate with others
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Academic institutions and research organisations cannot lead projects.

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size, academic institution or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

If businesses and research organisations are non-UK based they are only eligible to apply for funding if they:

  • set up an active UK registered business base before they start their project, where the funded work will be carried out
  • provide evidence that they intend to expand their R&D activity in the UK after the project

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

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

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

APC will not award you funding if you have:

  • failed to exploit a previously funded project
  • an overdue independent accountant’s report
  • failed to comply with grant terms and conditions

Funding Costs

APC has allocated up to £25 million 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.

The total grant request in your application cannot exceed 50% of the total eligible project costs, of which at least 70% must be incurred by commercial organisations.

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

 

Interested in applying for this competition?

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