Overview

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is to invest up to £25 million in innovation projects. Its goal is to support business led research and development in the design and development of batteries for electric vehicles. Projects must emphasise:

  • making it easier to scale up
  • building supply chains in the UK

The funding is split into 2 competitions running in parallel. In this competition Innovate UK expect to invest up to £2 million in feasibility studies. In the other competition they expect to fund up to £23 million in industrial research and experimental development projects.

Scope

Your project must improve the scalability and manufacturability of batteries for automotive in some way. It can involve development for other sectors, such as rail, marine, aerospace, defence or other applications, as long as an element of the technology could also be applied to automotive.

Your project can focus on technological improvements or developing new business models. We encourage projects that bring new investment and new businesses into the sector in the UK.

Your project must:

  • de-risk scaling up innovative technologies across the battery value chain (including cell materials and components, cells, modules and packs, but not vehicle integration) and/or
  • remove the technical or commercial barriers to cell manufacture in the UK
  • support the overall goal of the Faraday Battery Challenge

You must develop the understanding and processes needed to scale your technology following the end of the project. We are looking to support projects that address technical and commercial challenges, including:

  • cost reduction: at the cell and pack level, as well as minimising manufacturing costs
  • energy density: increasing Wh/kg per cell
  • power density: increasing kW/kg per pack
  • safety: eliminate thermal runaway risks for enhanced safety
  • first life: lengthen cell and pack life
  • temperature: broaden the temperature ranges that a pack efficiently operates at
  • predictability: new models to better predict range and battery health
  • recyclability: towards 95% pack recyclability, such as by design, reuse or recycling

Your proposal must demonstrate how your project will improve 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. You can do this by developing:

  • more flexible and efficient processes
  • processes that enable faster and greater customisation of the product to satisfy customer demands
  • materials that make manufacture easier

Your project must:

  • consider end of life implications
  • have a clear route to scale up your technology beyond a prototype or demonstrator following the conclusion of the project
  • plan to have real-world applications and meet the appropriate sector’s performance and regulatory targets
  • show a thorough understanding of the system your technology will fit into

Eligibility

All projects must be a collaboration between at least 2 partners. A business or research and technology organisation (RTO) must lead the project.

To be eligible for funding you must:

  • be a UK based business, academic organisation, charity, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out your project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • work in collaboration with other businesses, research organisations or third-sector organisations
  • make every effort to attend the cohort events, which will bring together project participants from across the Faraday Battery Challenge to share knowledge and help maximise the outcomes of the initiative

The lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding.

To lead a project you must:

  • be a UK based business, of any size, or a research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • involve at least one other organisation, or at least 2 businesses if the lead is an RTO

Funding Costs

We have allocated up to £2 million to fund feasibility studies in this competition.

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

Your total project costs can be up to £500,000. Your project can last between 3 and 12 months. It must start by 1 September 2019 and end by 31 March 2021.

Exclusions

Innovate UK will not fund projects focused on:

  • high technology readiness levels (TRLs) with total project costs more than £5 million focusing on modules or packs, as these could be funded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre
  • vehicle integration
  • low TRLs as these can be funded by the Faraday Institution or through other routes designed for fundamental research
  • mid TRL projects which do not consider how the technology will be scaled up beyond demonstrator or prototype level
  • funding for capital equipment which could be accessed through other means