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Automotive Transformation Fund expression of interest: July 2020

Overview:

UK-registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £1billion for R&D and capital projects that help industrialise the electrified automotive supply chain at scale in the UK.

The Automotive Transformation Fund is a new programme that aims to establish a competitive and sustainable UK supply chain.

It offers a share of up to £1billion of funding for industrial research and capital projects. This will be to support the industrialisation of a high-value, electrified automotive supply at scale in the UK.

This is an expression of interest (EoI) competition. If your application is successful you will be invited to apply to one of the full stage competition strands:

  1. Research and development (R&D).
  2. Capital investment.

If your project includes both R&D and capital investment you will have to apply for both full stage competitions.

Total eligible project costs and project duration must be appropriate and in proportion to the planned objectives and prioritisation of the Automotive Transformation Fund.

Open Date:

13/07/2020

Close Date:

05/08/2020

Your project must have a potential automotive application.

You can submit more than one application. Each application can focus on:

  • Research and development (R&D) only
  • Capital investment only

or

  • Both R&D and capital investments

Your proposal must prioritise the scale up in areas mentioned in the Automotive Transformation Strategy. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Batteries
  • Motors and drives
  • Power electronics
  • Fuel cell
  • Recycling of any of the above

More detail is available in ‘specific themes’ below.

Only projects which score well against the following criteria will receive funding from the Automotive Transformation Fund:

  • Fit with the Automotive Transformation Fund
  • Value for money for the UK
  • Ongoing benefit to the UK from the exploitation of your project
  • Project deliverables such as time, cost and quality (including risks)

Specific themes

Your project can focus on one or more of the following:

Batteries

  • Cathode materials and manufacturing
  • Anode materials and manufacturing
  • Electrolyte
  • Cell assembly components (including separators)
  • Cell or module assembly
  • Cell testing
  • Battery pack components
  • Battery pack assembly and test

Motors and drives

  • Magnet materials and manufacturing
  • Electrical steel materials and manufacturing
  • Electrical machine assembly
  • Drive line components
  • Assembly and test into complete drive unit

Power electronics

  • Wide band gap semi-conductors
  • Sensors
  • Passives
  • Power electronics assembly

Fuel cell

  • MEA
  • Catalysts
  • Bipolar plates
  • Gas diffusion layer
  • Air handling systems
  • Balance of power
  • Fuel cell stack assembly
  • Storage tanks
  • Fuel delivery (where specifically required for development purposes)

Recycling

  • E-motors
  • Batteries
  • Fuel cells
  • Power electronics

The Automotive Transformation Fund provides detailed information on the specific themes of this competition.

Any UK-registered business claiming grant funding must be eligible to receive State aid at the time we confirm you will be awarded funding. It is not possible to award grant funding to organisations meeting the condition known as undertakings in difficulty. If you are unsure please take legal advice. For further information see our general guidance on state aid.

Your business does not have to be UK registered with Companies House when you apply, but it must be registered before you can receive funding.

Your total eligible project costs and project duration must be appropriate and in proportion to the planned objectives and prioritisation within the Automotive Transformation Fund.

Lead organisation

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered business of any size
  • Carry out its project work in the UK
  • Exploit the results from or in the UK
  • Address the requirements of the Automotive Transformation Fund

Project team

To collaborate with the lead organisation your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered business, academic institution, charity, public sector organisation or RTO
  • Carry out its project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • Be invited to take part by the lead applicant

There are no restrictions on the number of applications a business or RTO can submit.

UK-registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £1billion to fund innovation projects in this competition.

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.

Industry-led research projects

For industry-led research projects, your total grant funding must not exceed 50% of your total eligible project costs. This is regardless of the individual partners’ grant claims. Of that 50%, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

  • 70% of your eligible project costs if you are a micro or small organisation
  • 60% of your eligible project costs if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • 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. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them.

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.

Research projects are funded under article 25, ‘Aid for research, development and innovation’ of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). It is your responsibility to make sure that your organisation is eligible to receive state aid.

Capital investment projects

Capital projects will be managed through the Automotive Transformation Fund capex team and BEIS.

For capital projects the grant available is dependent on the proposed project and will be determined during the second stage of the application process. The grant requested should be the minimum required to ensure sustainability of the investment.

Further information on the process will be provided at the full stage.

Innovate UK are not funding R&D that involves low-carbon fuels development.

They are not funding capital investments that:

  • Include investment in final electric vehicle assembly at original equipment manufacturers (OEM)
  • Are related to charging infrastructure
  • Supports retail and wholesale fuel supply (except where used for own development purposes)

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.