Overview

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £19 million across 2 strands in innovation projects to support the creation, development and scale up of supply chains in power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD) in the UK. This is the first competition as part of a new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund: Driving the Electric Revolution.

The aim is to support the transition towards a low carbon future in transport, energy and industry.

Scope

The aim of this competition is to fill gaps in the UK component supply chain for PEMD and develop innovative manufacturing and process solutions to enable capability in the UK supply chain.

As part of the Driving the Electric Revolution challenge, Innovate UK are looking for supply chain focused projects. These projects should address clear and immediate commercial opportunities in PEMD in the 7 sectors:

  1. Aerospace
  2. Automotive
  3. Energy (generation and distribution)
  4. Industrial (production equipment, robots to lighting)
  5. Marine
  6. Off highway (construction, agriculture equipment)
  7. Rail

Your proposal and your consortium must demonstrate clearly how you can deliver an improved supply chain as a result of the project.

The competition is not about technology development at a component level – other funding programmes exist to support that type of innovation.

Projects that develop solutions for more than one sector are encouraged but it is not a fixed requirement.

Your project must build a credible and scalable supply chain in the UK, or demonstrate an improvement in an existing one.

  1. PEMD is a set of cross-sectoral technologies used to change fossil fuel-based systems into electric systems, powered by battery or some other electrical source.
  2. Power electronics refers to components used to control and convert electrical power, such as from direct to alternating current or from higher to lower voltages and vice versa.
  3. Electric machines are devices which convert electrical energy into mechanical work and vice versa, for example, electric motors and generators.
  4. Drives refers to the combined control electronics, software and power electronics used to integrate the systems.

Specific Themes

Your project can focus one or more of the following:

  1. Power electronics: passive components production, productivity improvements and supply chain efficiency, such as solutions that address solving supply chain bottle necks or automation.
  2. Electric machines, generators and motors: automated stator winding, materials recovery from end of life, raw materials refining, stamping and lamination stack productivity improvements, advanced testing and so on.
  3. Drive systems: systems integration and testing.
  4. Projects that consider PEMD supply chain gaps, from raw materials to recycling.

Eligibility

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • collaborate with other businesses, research organisations, public sector organisations or charities
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

To collaborate with the lead your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business, academic organisation, charity, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • be invited to take part by the lead applicant

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.

Funding Costs

Up to £19 million has been allocated to funding innovation projects across 2 strands in this competition.

Strand 1 Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £1 million and £3 million.

Strand 2 – Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £250,000 and £1 million.

Your project’s total eligible costs must be at least 50% match funded. In addition to the match funding, projects must also state in their bids how much follow on investment is expected in the 24 months following project completion and how this will be reported to Innovate UK.

For industrial research projects, you could get funding 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 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

Innovate UK are only looking to fund projects that can start rapidly. Projects must start within 3 months of notification. They can last up to 12 months.

Exclusions

Innovate UK are not funding:

  • projects that provide less than 50% match funding of total eligible costs
  • projects not focused on PEMD supply chains in the UK
  • projects that cannot start within 3 months from notification and be completed in 12 months
  • projects that focus on component technology development for PEMD, such as projects that develop new technology concepts for electric motors