Overview

BEIS launched the Nuclear Innovation Programme in November 2016, covering 6 key areas.

Phase 1 of the Advanced Manufacturing and Materials strand of the programme provided initial funding to develop technologies in advanced manufacturing and materials.

Phase 2 is a £20m investment programme and focuses on increasing the manufacturing or technology readiness levels of technologies, including those established in Phase 1, towards demonstration and commercialisation.

Scope

Phase 2 will be output led, producing a technology demonstrator or a number of demonstrators that include advanced manufacturing/construction techniques; incorporating and developing the learning and technologies from the Phase 1 funded programme.

Demonstrations will involve trial builds (or equivalent) including one or more of the technologies funded in Phase 1, relevant to factory-build, modular and advanced construction, and digital engineering execution and assurance. These techniques could then be applied to the build, maintenance and decommissioning of a nuclear sites as well as future technologies.

The demonstrator(s) will exhibit the anticipated benefits of advanced manufacturing techniques relevant to both near term and advanced nuclear technologies, meet the required standards such that they could be used in an operational environment (or significantly improve the understanding of the requirements for operational deployment). Each demonstrator project in Phase 2 will encompass at least one of the Phase 2 work areas – detailed below.

Phase 2 Work Areas:

  • Materials
  • Nuclear component manufacture
  • Large scale nuclear component manufacturing and assembly
  • Manufacturing modelling
  • Coolant chemistry
  • Nuclear design codes and standards
  • Pre-fabricated module development and verification

Funding to support projects is available until 31st March 2021. As such, the BEIS funded elements of any projects must be financially complete by that date.

For further information on this competition, please find the full BEIS guidance notes and application forms here.

Eligibility

To be eligible for funding, proposed projects must meet all the following criteria:

  1. Develop a technology/technique from Phase 1: The proposed work must include at least one technology/technique developed in Phase 1 in order to advance the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) towards commercialisation
  2. Reduction in cost over traditional method: Proposal is to produce a manufacturing component or system which demonstrates a reduction in cost over traditional manufacturing technique/component relevant to the nuclear sector.
  3. Ability to meet regulatory standards: Demonstrate that the processes through which any procurement/ advanced manufacturing and factory build activities are able to meet NIA 1965 license condition 17 and enhance the use of digital information to support regulation.
  4. Aid Intensity including cumulation: The funding levels applied for must be consistent with the appropriate Block Exemption aid intensity levels (including consideration of the cumulative effect of other forms of state aid) and costs must be consistent with the eligible cost criteria (as set out in Appendix 1).
  5. Match-funding: Given the aid intensity rules, applicants will need to have private funding in place to cover the balance of the eligible costs. Such funding may come from a company’s own resources or external private sector investors but may not include funding attributable to any public authority or EU institution.
  6. Project Location: The project’s activities must be conducted in the UK.
  7. Grant size: Applicant(s) to the scheme will be eligible to receive up to £10m for funding a project under Article 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulations.
  8. Project duration: Whilst there is no set limit on total project duration, BEIS funding towards projects will only be available until 31st March 2021.
  9. Applicants and Project team make-up: Both single company and consortium bids will be considered. In case of Consortia, a single project application must be submitted by the lead project member.

Funding Costs

The following is the maximum funding available:

For industrial research projects:

  • small enterprises can expect up to 70% funding
  • medium enterprises can expect up to 60% funding
  • large enterprises can expect up to 50% funding

For industrial research projects involving collaboration or where results will be disseminated:

  • small enterprises can expect up to 85% funding
  • medium enterprises can expect up to 75% funding
  • large enterprises can expect up to 65% funding