APC 21: Developing automotive technologies and capability for net zero

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of £25 million for late-stage R&D projects that help accelerate the UK towards a net-zero automotive future.

Opportunity Details


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Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £5 million and £40 million. Your project must be a minimum of 50% match funded.


Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC)

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The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) provides funding, support and insight for the development of low carbon and net zero 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 £25 million.

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

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

Projects must look to fulfil both these criteria to ensure the UK meets the future demand of vehicle-makers.

Your project must:

  • have total costs between £5 million and £40 million
  • be a minimum of 50% match funded
  • start by 1 September 2022
  • last between 18 and 42 months
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Your project must be collaborative, and can contain a maximum of 6 project partners.

To lead a project your organisation must be a UK registered business of any size, with an active registered business base in the UK. You must involve at least one grant claiming micro small or medium enterprise (SME) if the lead is not one, and include a vehicle manufacturer or tier 1 supplier who supplies parts directly to an original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

Academic institutions and research organisations cannot lead projects. 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 and provide evidence of an intention to expand their R&D activity in the UK during and after the project.

There are no limits on the number of applications an organisation can be involved in.


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

Your project must:

  • support growth and security of the UK’s supply chain, increasing capability, whilst improving productivity, efficiency and competitiveness
  • deliver vehicle technologies and associated manufacturing processes which support the transition to net zero
  • contribute to the UK’s strategic aims in this area, such as the Automotive Council’s Roadmaps

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

  • 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
  • hydrogen storage and management systems
  • direct recycling methods resulting in complete recovery of critical materials
  • digitalisation leveraged during the development, testing, production or in-service phases

An online briefing event will be held on Thursday 5th April at 10.30am: register to attend.

If you want help to find a project partner, contact Innovate UK KTN’s transport team.


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