+44 (0)1509 261182

Automotive Transformation Fund Expression of Interest: Round 10

Overview:

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

The Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) 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 capital and associated industrial research 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 a full stage competition strand when it is published.

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:

26/04/2021

Close Date:

19/05/2021

This is an expression of interest (EoI) competition. You must have a successful application in this competition before you can be invited to apply to the full stage competition.

Your project must support the industrialisation at scale of an electrified automotive supply chain.

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.

Your application can focus on one of these:

  • Capital investment only
  • Capital and associated R&D activity

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

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

  • Fit with the overall aims of the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF)
  • 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)

The ATF will prioritise support to projects that:

  • Can act as anchors to their respective supply chains
  • Are likely to lead to further investments while creating a sustainable and competitive supply chain for the future

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) will fund a portfolio of projects, across the technologies listed in the specific themes section. This portfolio and the technologies within are designed to be complimentary to the overall aim of the ATF. There may be occasion where a lower scoring project is supported, superseding a higher scoring application.

The APC can help you check whether your project fits the Automotive Transformation Fund. Contact the APC team at ATF@apcuk.co.uk to find out more.

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.

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
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • Address the requirements of the Automotive Transformation Fund

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under State aid.

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must:

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

If you are working in a collaboration the lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding through the BEIS Central Grants & Loans Team.

If you are a collaboration the lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding by entering their costs during the application.

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

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 UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must also provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you.

Innovate UK expect all subcontractor costs to be justified and appropriate to the total eligible project costs. Innovate UK will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

Number of applications

You can make more than one application.

There are no restrictions on the number of applications a business can lead or collaborate on.

There are no restrictions on the number of applications a partner can collaborate on.

Previous applications

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

Innovate UK will not award you funding if you have:

Subsidy control (and State aid where applicable)

This competition provides funding in line with the UK’s obligations and commitments to Subsidy Control. Further information about the UK Subsidy Control requirements can be found within the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement and the subsequent guidance from the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Innovate UK is unable to award organisations that are considered to be in financial difficulty. Innovate UK will conduct financial viability and eligibility tests to confirm this is not the case following the application stage.

European Commission State aid

You must apply under European Commission State aid rules if you are an applicant who is conducting activities that will affect trade of goods and electricity between Northern Ireland and the EU as envisaged by Article 10 of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland in the EU Withdrawal Agreement.

In certain limited circumstances, the European Commission State aid rules may also apply if you are an organisation located in England, Wales, or Scotland and conduct activities that affect the trade of goods and electricity between Northern Ireland and the EU. For further information, please see section 7 of the BEIS technical guidance.

For further information see the general guidance on state aid and BEIS guidance on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

For applicants subject to the European Commission State aid rules, applicants will be required to prove that they were not an “Undertaking in Difficulty” on the date of 31 December 2019 but became a UID between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2021. Innovate UK will ask for evidence of this.

Further Information

If you are unsure about your obligations under the UK Subsidy Control regime or the State aid rules, please take independent legal advice.

You must make sure at all times that the funding awarded to you is compliant with all current Subsidy Control legislation applicable in the United Kingdom.

This aims to regulate any advantage granted by a public sector body which threatens to or actually distorts competition in the United Kingdom or any other country or countries.

If there are any changes to the above requirements that mean Innovate UK need to change the terms of this competition, they will tell you as soon as possible.

Innovate UK have allocated a share of up to £1billion to fund capital focused projects in this competition.

Capital investment projects

Capital investment projects will be managed through the BEIS Central Grants & Loans Team. For capital investment 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.

Industry led research projects

For industry led 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 up to:

  • Up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • Up to 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • Up to 50% 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 and technology 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

Innovate UK are not funding capital investment that:

  • Is related to charging infrastructure
  • Includes investment in final electric vehicle assembly at original equipment manufacturers (OEM)
  • Supports retail and wholesale fuel supply
  • Focuses primarily on use of digital or data technologies such as simulation
  • Supports speculative site enabling projects

Innovate UK are not funding R&D dedicated to:

  • Software development
  • Product or process development which is at prototype or early proof of concept stage
  • Low-carbon fuels development

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.