APC25: Industrialising net zero automotive technology

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £25m for late-stage R&D to accelerate the UK towards a net zero automotive future.

Opportunity Details

When

Registration Opens

15/01/2024

Registration Closes

13/03/2024

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) collaborates with UK government, the automotive industry and academia, to accelerate the industrialisation of technologies, digital optimisation and manufacturing processes. These processes support the UK’s transition to a net zero automotive industry. With APC’s in depth knowledge and expertise in new propulsion technologies, their role in building and advising projects will support them to start quickly. Projects supported will deliver increased value, safeguard skilled jobs and keep the UK competitive.

We are working to drive innovation and encourage collaboration to build the foundations for a successful and sustainable UK automotive value and supply chain. The aim of this competition is to support collaborative R&D projects that design, develop and manufacture technology. These proposals will work towards delivering net zero on-vehicle technologies for on-road or off-road vehicles, including 2 wheelers. In this competition, Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to invest up to £25 million in innovation projects.

Your proposal must be a collaborative, pre-production research and development (R&D) project that:

  • supports the UK’s vision and underpin core capabilities by securing long term R&D investment
  • creates or safeguards high value jobs when undertaking the project and as a result of any post project R&D and manufacturing activities
  • achieves, through the associated supply chain, the design, build, test and manufacture of net zero vehicles
  • supports the UK’s transition to zero emission vehicles and a pathway to net zero automotive industry

Your project must fulfil these criteria to ensure the UK meets the future demand of vehicle makers and users. The outcomes will strengthen the UK’s global impact, and anchor added value across the whole supply chain.

  • To lead a project your organisation must:

    To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be a UK registered:

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

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

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

    There is no limit on the number of applications an organisation can be involved in.

  • Your project must:

    • have a grant funding request between £2.5 million and £20 million
    • be a minimum of 50% match funded
    • start on 1 November 2024
    • last between 18 and 36 months
    • carry out all of its project work in the UK
    • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • The aim of this competition is for collaborative R&D projects that design, develop and manufacture technology. These proposals will work towards delivering net-zero on-vehicle technologies for on-road or off-road vehicles, including 2 wheelers.

    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 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
    • support, through traditional or digitally enabled methods; UK R&D scale-up or commercialisation, decarbonisation of technology design, development, optimisation and production of sub-systems, vehicle systems, delivery of innovation value

    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)
    • lightweighting materials, methods and processes
    • hydrogen storage and management systems
    • design for circular economy, including the disassembly, recovery, and reuse of materials used in the project technologies
    • digitalisation of design for manufacture and recycling, development of low carbon vehicle innovation, manufacture of vehicle systems and sub-systems, data analytics, redesign, test and validation and verification
  • You must consider which of the technologies listed below best represent your project. If you are using multiple technologies, 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 have a significance and impact ranking of at least 50%. You can also rank up to an additional two supporting technologies that can have a maximum of 25% each.

  • We are not funding projects that are:

    • only focussed on the development of clean fuels
    • not aligned with the UK net-zero research innovations framework
    • requesting more than 50% grant for total project costs
    • developing either e-Scooters or e-Bikes
  • 6 December 2023 Webinar briefing event: watch the recording

    15 January 2024: Competition opens

    11:30am, 16 January 2024: Live questions and answers session – click here for the joining link

    Interviews will be held 20-24 May 2024.

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

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