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Automotive Transformation Fund Expression of Interest: Round 16

Overview:

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 an Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) 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, which is the first stage in a two stage process. Your EoI application outlines your proposal and potential benefits to the UK. If your application is successful, you will be invited to progress to a full application for the ATF competition.

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:

01/11/2021

Close Date:

24/11/2021

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. It must be appropriate and in proportion to the planned objectives and prioritisation of the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF).

You should be looking to transform the automotive industry through significant business or production expansion. Innovate UK expect your project to be centred around a product, process or technology that you have already demonstrated and have confirmed as technically and economically feasible.

Your application can be for:

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

Your proposal must prioritise the scale up in areas mentioned in the Automotive Transformation Strategy for an electrified supply chain. Your project must prioritise scale up and can focus on but is not limited to:

  • batteries including cells (‘gigafactories’)
  • electric motors and drives
  • power electronics
  • fuel cells
  • upstream supply chain for, batteries including cells, electric motors and drives, power electronics or fuel cells
  • recycling of, batteries including cells, electric motors and drives, power electronics or fuel cells

Your project must:

  • fit with the overall strategy of the ATF
  • offer value for money for the UK
  • have an ongoing benefit to the UK from the exploitation of your project
  • include deliverables such as time, cost and quality (including risks)

Only projects which score well against these criteria will receive funding from the ATF.

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.

Specific themes

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

Batteries including cells (‘gigafactories’)

  • 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

Electric 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 cells

  • MEA
  • catalysts
  • bipolar plates
  • gas diffusion layer
  • air handling systems
  • balance of plant
  • fuel cell stack assembly
  • storage tanks
  • fuel delivery (where specifically required for development purposes)

Upstream Supply Chain including:

  • raw materials
  • component manufacturing
  • sub-assembly manufacturing

Recycling

  • e-motors
  • batteries
  • fuel cells
  • power electronics

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

Your total eligible project costs and project duration must be strongly aligned to the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF).

To lead a project or work alone, your organisation must:

  • Be a 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

Non-UK businesses can apply to this expression of interest (EoI) competition in reference to activities they are considering undertaking in the UK. The business must be registered in the UK before any funding can be awarded.

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following:

  • A business of any size
  • Academic institution
  • Charity
  • Not-for-profit
  • Public sector organisation
  • Research and technology organisation (RTO)

All applicants will need to be registered in the UK before any funding can be awarded.

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.

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

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

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 in your application as to 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.

You can make a maximum of two submissions to Innovate UK with any given proposal. If Innovate UK judges that your proposal is not materially different from your previous proposal, it will be counted towards this maximum.

If your application goes through to assessment and is deemed unsuccessful, you can reapply with the same proposal once more, taking into account the feedback received from the assessors

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.

EU State aid rules now only apply in limited circumstances. Please see the general guidance to check if these rules apply to your organisation

Further Information

If you are unsure about your obligations under the UK Subsidy Control regime or the State aid rules, you should take independent legal advice. Innovate UK are unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.

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. Funding levels for associated R&D costs are dependent on the size of your organisation. Further information on the process will be provided at the full stage.

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.

If you are applying for an award funded under State aid Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.

Research Participation

Research organisation participation is allowed where research is integral to your capital centric project.

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 projects that:

  • Do not transform the automotive industry through significant business or production expansion
  • Are not centred around a product, process or technology that you have already demonstrated
  • Are not confirmed as technically and economically feasible
  • Are dependent on export performance
  • Are dependent on domestic inputs usage

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 associated R&D activity for:

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

Innovate UK are not funding projects that are only R&D.

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.