Canada-UK Net Zero Value Chains - Transportation

UK registered businesses and Canadian SMEs can apply to collaborate on joint R&D projects that enable the transition to net zero for the automotive, rail, or maritime sectors.

Opportunity Details


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Registration Closes



The total grant for all UK partners can be up to £300,000 for each application. NRC IRAP will provide a contribution of up to CA$500,000 to each eligible Canadian SME participating in the project. These can cover up to 70% of costs.


Innovate UK

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Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) to invest a total of up to £4 million in innovation projects. These will enable transition to net zero for the automotive, rail, or maritime transportation sectors.

The aim of this competition is to foster and support collaborative research and development (CR&D) through Canadian and UK partnerships. Your proposal must demonstrate high potential for commercialisation, address a technological challenge and target large global markets.


To lead a project your organisation must be either a UK registered business of any size, or Canadian registered small or medium enterprise (SME). Your collaboration must include at least one grant claiming UK registered SME and one eligible Canadian registered SME. Academic institutions and research and technology organisations (RTOs) cannot lead.

Canadian funding applicants are required to register and submit an Expression of Interest (EoI) before being eligible to apply for this competition. The registration deadline for Canadian SMEs is 9 May 2022. Canadian funding applicants who do not complete an EoI and have not been invited to proceed will not be eligible for funding through this competition.

Your project must:

  • have a grant funding request of no more than £300,000 allocated to UK organisations
  • have a grant funding request of no more than CA$500,000 allocated to each eligible Canadian SME
  • start by 1 January 2023
  • end by 31 December 2024
  • last between 12 and 24 months

Projects should have a balanced contribution of the total eligible project costs among the partners from the participating partner countries. No one country or project partner can represent more than 70% of the total project cost. The majority of the project work must be undertaken in the UK and Canada.


The aim of this competition is to foster and support collaborative research and development (CR&D) through Canadian and UK partnerships.

Your joint Canadian and UK project must focus on innovations that enable transition to net zero transportation, for the automotive, rail, or maritime sectors. Your project can address on-vehicle, including locomotives, or on-vessel technologies, processes, or technology-based services.

This competition covers 4 themes in net zero on-vehicle or on-vessel technologies:

1. Low and zero emission propulsion.

2. Advanced sustainable materials and manufacturing.

3. Highly disruptive technologies.

4. Assistive technologies and control systems.

Technology transfer projects from other transport or energy sectors, or projects that span across multiple sectors are welcome.

A project in the automotive sector can cover both niche and mainstream on-road vehicles and off-road vehicles, including mopeds, motorcycles, passenger and goods vehicles and trailers, agricultural, construction vehicles, and special use vehicles.

A project in the rail sector can target all locomotive classes including those for freight and passenger carrying services and carriages.

A project in the maritime sector can include a range of ship types from small vessels to large cargo carriers.

Your project must:

  • develop on-vehicle or on-vessel technologies that deliver net zero solutions, speeding up their introduction to the market
  • justify how the technology improves overall vehicle or vessel efficiency and lifecycle CO2 emissions
  • validate the technology in a relevant environment, for example in a testbed or through a development mule or adapted current production vehicle or vessel for higher maturity technologies
  • deliver the technology at a lower cost than today without compromising safety or capability
  • consider approach to manufacturing including at the target scale and using advanced processes
  • show a clear route to market including appropriate business models to exploit the technology commercially and identify an appropriate end customer(s)
  • show a reduction of the environmental impact of the technology including resource efficiency and end of life options such as recycling, remanufacturing or reuse

For a full list of eligible technologies, click here.

An online briefing event will be held on Thursday 7th April at 4pm GMT: register to attend.

A matchmaking event will be held on Monday 25th April, also at 4pm GMT: register to attend.

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


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