APC23: Industrialising net-zero automotive technology

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £20 million for late-stage R&D projects that help accelerate the UK towards a net zero automotive future.

Funding Details

When

Registration Opens

16/01/2023

Registration Closes

15/03/2023

Award

Your project’s total grant funding request must be between £2.5 million and £20 million. Your project must be a minimum of 50% match-funded, with a suggested maximum number of six partners.

Organisation

Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC)

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The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) provides funding, support, insight and foresight for the development of low emission transport solutions, and automotive technologies. It aims to support the UK’s transition towards net zero product manufacturing and supply chain in the UK automotive sector.

In this competition round APC is investing up to £20 million.

We are looking for collaborative, pre-production research and development (R&D) projects that:

  • support the UK’s long-term vision and underpinning capabilities by securing long term R&D investment
  • achieve through the associated supply chain, the design, build, test and manufacture of net-zero carbon emission vehicles

Projects must look to fulfil both these criteria to ensure the UK meets the future demand of vehicle makers and users, strengthening UK’s global impact and, anchoring the value-add across the whole supply chain.

Eligibility

Your project must:

  • have total grant funding request between £2.5 million and £20 million
  • be a minimum of 50% match-funded
  • start by 1 October 2023
  • last between 18 and 42 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • have an active registered business base in the UK
  • be a grant recipient
  • collaborate with other UK registered organisations

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

You must involve at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).

Non UK registered businesses and research organisations are only eligible to apply for funding if:

  • they set up an active UK-registered business where the funded project work will be carried out
  • provide evidence of an intention to expand their R&D activity in the UK during and after the project

Scope

The aim of this competition is to seek proposals for collaborative R&D projects that design, develop and manufacture technology that will work towards delivering net zero carbon emission on-vehicle technologies for on-road or off-road vehicles.

Your project must:

  • contribute to the UK’s strategic aims and direction of travel towards net zero transport vision, such as the Automotive Council’s Roadmaps
  • deliver on-vehicle technologies and or associated manufacturing processes which support the transition to net zero
  • support growth, transition and security of the UK’s automotive supply chain, increasing capability, whilst improving productivity, efficiency and competitiveness

Your project must advance technologies in one or more of the following areas:

  • energy storage, batteries, their components, management and integration systems
  • fuel cell and associated balance of plant
  • electric machines
  • power electronics
  • fossil fuel free (at the point of use) internal combustion (in the case of on-road solutions, we will support project proposals which aim to achieve zero harmful tailpipe emissions)
  • hydrogen storage and management systems
  • manufacturing processes associated with industrialising relevant net zero technologies
  • direct recycling methods resulting in complete recovery of critical materials
  • digitalisation leveraged during the design, development, testing, validation and verification and production or in-service phases
  • digitalisation for vehicle development and design

The economic benefit of your project will be assessed on criteria including but not limited to:

  • scale and impact on the UK economy
  • foreign investment anchored in the UK
  • jobs created or safeguarded
  • upskilling or reskilling of workforce
  • automotive supply chain in the UK (upstream, mid-stream and downstream)
  • lifetime environmental impact of the vehicle and circular economy models

Your proposal must evidence:

  • a clear route to market exploitation, that can be evidenced, including IP generated for the UK
  • a credible consortium-led approach to the project, agreed in principle and able to proceed to a formal collaborative agreement
  • what would happen should the project not be funded

Projects will be encouraged to disseminate their results to bring benefit to the wider UK automotive industry.

Specific themes

You must consider which technology or technologies best represent your project and rank them in order of their significance and impact to your project. The one ranked first must be the lead technology.

  • electric machines and power electronics
  • energy storage and energy management
  • lightweight vehicles and powertrain structures
  • fuel cell and associated balance of plant
  • thermal propulsion systems and alternative fuels
  • digitalisation for development of low carbon vehicle innovation, data analytics, redesign, test and validation and verification

Your lead technology must be at least 50%. You can also rank up to an additional two supporting technologies that can have a maximum of 25% each. Your percentages must add up to 100%.

If you would like to help to find a collaboration partner, contact Innovate UK KTN’s Transport team.

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