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ATF: Moving the UK automotive sector to zero emissions

Overview:

UK-registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £10million for feasibility studies to support industrialisation of the UK’s high-value electrified automotive supply chain.

The Automotive Transformation Fund, delivered by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and partners, will support the industrialisation at scale of a high-value electrified automotive supply chain in the UK. APC is seeking proposals from single organisations or consortiums for feasibility studies up to the value of £1.5million.

APC is looking for projects in the following areas, or in other appropriate areas aligned to the aim of the Automotive Transformation Fund:

  • Product scale up feasibility
  • Process and facility scale up feasibility

Your project must focus on both of the following:

  • Making it easier to scale up in the UK
  • Building supply chains in the UK

Your total eligible project costs can be up to £1.5million.

Open Date:

13/07/2020

Close Date:

19/08/2020

The Automotive Transformation Fund will support the industrialisation at scale of a high-value electrified automotive supply chain in the UK. More information on Automotive Transformation Fund can be found on the APC website.

The aim of this competition is to support commercially-led research and development in the design of elements of the electric automotive supply chain. Projects must focus on both of the following:

  • Making it easier to scale up in the UK
  • Building supply chains in the UK

Your project’s primary focus must be the automotive market.

Your project can focus on technological improvements or developing new business models. APC encourages projects that bring new investment and new businesses into the sector in the UK.

Your project must fulfil one or more of the following:

  • De-risk scaling up innovative technologies across the electric supply chain
  • Remove the technical or commercial barriers to manufacture in the UK
  • Support the overall aim of the Automotive Transformation Fund to establish a competitive and sustainable UK supply chain

APC is particularly looking for projects that support the UK’s long-term supply chain, associated capabilities and growth aspirations.

At the end of the feasibility study, APC expects projects to be:

  • Ready to continue in future research and development and or capital competitions

or

  • Able to raise private sector investment to take the project outcome to market

APC want to fund a portfolio of projects, across the technologies listed in the specific themes section.

Specific themes

Your feasibility study can focus on one of the following scale-up opportunities, or on something else in the scope of this competition which meets the aim of the Automotive Transformation Fund.

Product scale up feasibility

You can either focus on one or more of the products below or on the materials and components that go into the product:

  • Anode
  • Cathode
  • Vehicle platform and cell format
  • Fuel cell
  • Power electronics

Process and facility scale up feasibility

You can either focus on one of the processes named below or on the materials and components that go into the process:

  • Battery manufacture
  • Fuel cell manufacture

Your project must:

  • Have total eligible costs up to £1.5million
  • Start on 1 November 2020
  • End by 31 March 2021
  • Last between three and five months

Lead organisation

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered business of any size, a research organisation, a research and technology organisation (RTO) or a non-UK registered company or research organisation
  • Be a grant recipient
  • Carry out its project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Non-UK registered companies and research organisations are eligible to apply for funding as a lead or part of a project team if they:

  • Set up an active UK registered business before they start their project
  • Start their project on 1 November 2020
  • Carry out all funded work in the UK
  • Meet all other criteria stated above.

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

Project team

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered business, academic institution, charity, not-for-profit, public sector organisation, research and technology organisation (RTO) or a non-UK registered company or research organisation
  • Carry out its project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on the project. Partners must enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

Non-UK partners receiving funding must set up and provide evidence of an active UK registered business before they start work on the project.

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total eligible project costs.

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition. Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the world. Innovate UK would expect subcontractor costs to be justified and appropriate to the total eligible project costs.

Multiple applications

There are no restrictions on the number of applications an eligible organisation can lead or partner on. Should you be successful, you will be asked to confirm you have the capacity to run multiple projects simultaneously.

As part of the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF), the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) has allocated up to £10million to match fund feasibility studies in this competition.

You must request the minimum amount of funding needed for your project.

If your organisation’s work on the project is mostly commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

For feasibility studies projects, you could get funding of:

  • Up to 70% of your eligible project costs if you are a micro or small organisation
  • Up to 60% of your eligible project costs if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • Up to 50% of your eligible project costs if you are a large organisation

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs.

Of that 30%, research organisations in the consortium could get funding for their eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if they are an academic institution
  • 100% of their eligible project costs if they are an RTO

If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them.

This competition provides state aid funding under article 25, ‘Aid for research and development projects’, of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). It is your responsibility to make sure your organisation is eligible to receive state aid.

APC are not funding:

  • Dedicated internal combustion engine projects
  • Business-as-usual projects which maintain the status quo or do not demonstrate innovation
  • Zero carbon fuels
  • Vehicle charging
  • Projects which do not meet the aim of the Automotive Transformation Fund

Cresco Innovation works with companies to develop and implement innovation strategies. We help client companies identify opportunities to develop new products and services, and then create a package of support to ensure that the idea is turned into a commercial reality.

Our services include securing grants (as a team we have raised around £40million over three years), business planning, IP advice, access to finance and funders, project management and IP commercialisation support.

We regularly act as the interface with the funding bodies and help clients ensure that their projects are properly managed to ensure the best outcome for all.

Call to find out more

If you’d like to know more about this competition, please give us a call on 01509 261182 and one of our team will be delighted to help you access this funding opportunity for your business.