Overview

The aim of this competition is to seek proposals for collaborative R&D projects. These should demonstrate the development of on-vehicle technologies for on or off-road vehicles.

The project must be directly focused on or relate to one or more of the following strategic technology themes. You must determine which technology or technologies best represent your project:

  • alternative propulsion systems
  • electric machines and power electronics
  • energy storage and energy management
  • lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures
  • thermal propulsion systems that deliver substantial improvements

Scope

Projects must either accelerate the development of low and zero tailpipe emission capable technologies, or demonstrate a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions leading to air quality improvements. Proposals should clearly align with the UK’s Industrial Strategy and must clearly 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 low and zero tailpipe-emission capable vehicles.

This includes technologies such as:

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

If your application can demonstrate a positive impact on the UK economy it will take priority. This can include 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 etc.
  • the delivery of a UK centric high value manufacturing and sourcing footprint
  • lowering the overall cost of goods sold to customers
  • joining together (simplifying) less productive or mature elements of existing UK supply chain leading to business efficiencies; helping to reduce uncertainty and risk.
  • 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 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

Eligibility

To lead a project you must:

  • have an active registered business base in the UK
  • be a grant recipient
  • involve at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • include, as part of your consortium, a vehicle manufacturer or tier 1 supplier who supplies parts directly to an original equipment manufacturer
  • collaborate with others
  • carry out the work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Academic institutions or research organisations cannot lead projects.

To collaborate with the lead your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business, 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
  • work in collaboration with other businesses or research organisations

Non-UK based companies and research organisations are eligible to apply for funding if they:

  • set up an active UK 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

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.

Funding Costs

APC have allocated up to £20 million to match fund innovation projects in this competition.

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £5 million and £40 million and projects can last between 18 and 42 months.

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
  • a maximum of 30% is available to research organisations, and if there is more than one research organisation, this amount will be shared between them

You must request the minimum amount of funding needed for your project.

The percentage of costs you can claim varies depending on:

  • the type of research you are carrying out
  • the type of organisations involved
  • the outcome of a value for money (VfM) economic assessment carried out by the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small business
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 50% if you are a large business

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 business
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 25% if you are a large business

If your project’s total eligible costs or duration fall outside of the above criteria, you must contact APC directly on +44(0)24 7652 8700 at least 10 days before the competition closes.

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