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CCAV – Advancing safely to full vehicle automation


UK-registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £1.5million for up to three automated vehicle projects. This funding is from the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV).

The Department for Transport (DfT) and the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) will work with Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, to invest a total of up to £1.5million for up to three automated vehicle projects.

The aim of this competition is to continue development of technologies and assurance processes to enable safe use of fully automated vehicles.

Funding is offered for the development of technologies applicable to either passenger services, freight services or both, intended for future deployment on public roads.

Key findings must be reported to the Department for Transport to inform its work on developing a safety assurance process.

Reporting must be made principally via CCAV.

Due to the nature of the competition, it is highly likely that trialling in a closed environment will be necessary. As such we strongly recommend that projects consider the use of CAM Testbed UK facilities during testing phase.

Any trials on public roads must not carry passengers.

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £25,000 and £1million.

Open Date:


Close Date:


The aim of this competition is to enable applicants to further develop technologies and assurance processes enabling the safe use of fully automated vehicles.

Funding is offered to enable applicants to continue development of technologies and assurance processes to enable safe use of fully automated vehicles.

Your project must:

  • Focus on both technologies and assurance processes
  • Describe the barriers to adoption that the technology under investigation will overcome
  • Describe your compliance with existing regulations and standards
  • Describe how you will provide assurance if your technology does not comply with existing regulation
  • Build upon an existing ADS which has been developed and demonstrated to function on the UK public roads under the UK Code of Practice: Automated vehicle trialling (Feb 2019)
  • Define the intended boundary of responsibilities between the developer and the operator or service provider for the technical subject of the project
  • Progress your technologies, understanding and skills towards the goal of trialling automated vehicles on UK roads which do not rely on a safety driver within the vehicle
  • Monitor the automated driving system (ADS) in use
  • Explore the practical application of in-use monitoring of the ADS as a means of assessing the safety of advanced automated vehicle deployment
  • Have a clear, existing safety case, which may evolve during the project
  • Identify scenarios and record number of incidences where safety driver intervention is required
  • Support the development of Government’s safety and security assurance process for connected and automated vehicles (CAVPASS), for example through data sharing or provision of workshops
  • Develop a clear plan for the future steps required to achieve the goal of trialling on UK roads without a safety driver within the vehicle
  • Present the rationale and outcomes of your project to the DfT, the Government’s CAVPASS project teams and Innovate UK
  • Have quantified deliverables by end of March 2022
  • Be delivered in the financial year to April 2022

You must be available to attend workshops to share lessons learned with the Department for Transport (DfT).

You must accommodate observer days for the DfT, the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) and possibly other government stakeholders. Observer days are to improve their understanding of the technology and assurance needs.

Vehicles must be road legal and may be of any size and use any legal power source, but zero emission vehicles are preferred. Safety drivers must be used within the vehicle during the project.

Any trials on public roads must not carry passengers.

Applications must clearly demonstrate how they will anchor IP generated by the project in the UK and how it will be exploited for the benefit of the UK supply chain in the future.

Innovate UK want to fund a portfolio of projects, across a variety of technologies aligned to the specific themes.

Your project is expected to continue beyond the end of the competition.

Specific themes

Your project can focus on one or more of these themes:

  • Automated driving system (ADS) development, to reduce safety driver intervention requirements
  • Sensing and perception system development to reduce safety driver intervention requirements
  • Remote monitoring or remote operation
  • Scenario development or scenario application for intended deployment area
  • Strategies for coping with scenarios which exceed operational design domain
  • Automated incident detection (including “near misses”), automated monitoring and associated data handling

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

You must explain your reasons for your choice of focus.

Your project must:

  • Have total eligible costs between £25,000 and £1million
  • Start by 1 October 2021
  • End by 31 March 2022
  • Last between three and six months

To lead a project,, your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered business of any size, a research organisation or a research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • Be an autonomous driving systems (ADS) developer
  • Have an existing automated driving system which has been tested and demonstrated on the UK public roads under the UK Code of Practice: Automated vehicle trialling (Feb 2019)
  • Collaborate with other UK-registered businesses, research organisations, public sector organisations or charities
  • Collaborate with a potential autonomous vehicle service provider, or fleet customer who will operate the automated vehicles for example a local authority
  • Carry out its project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

If the lead organisation is an RTO or a research organisation, it must collaborate with at least one business of any size.

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

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

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.

Innovate UK particularly encourage involvement from local authorities and transport authorities as service providers.


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

There is no limit on the number of applications an organisation can participate in. If applicants are involved in more than one submission, they must clearly state in their application how all projects can be resourced and delivered if successful.

A business, research organisation or RTO can only lead on one application and collaborate on a further three.

If an RTO is not leading an application, it can collaborate in any number of applications.

An academic institution can collaborate on any number of applications.

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.

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, 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 up to £1.5million 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.

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • Up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • Up to 35% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • Up to 25% if you are a large organisation

For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • 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.

Innovate UK are not funding projects that are:

  • New or early stage automated driving systems which have not yet been tested on UK roads under the Code of Practice
  • Projects creating or developing automated vehicle related tools, such as simulation packages, test equipment, etc
  • Automated driving systems intended primarily for off-road applications such as mining and construction
  • Durability and reliability trials which do not progress the technology beyond the current level
  • Projects focused on the commercial aspects of a potential automated vehicle service
  • Dependent on export performance – for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that they export a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • Dependent on domestic inputs usage – for example if it was insisted that a baker use 50% UK flour in their product

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.