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Autonomous vehicle cyber-security feasibility studies


UK businesses and RTOs can apply for a share of up to £2million to define a cyber-physical connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) test facility.

The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) is partnering with Zenzic (formally Meridian Mobility) and Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation. Together they will invest up to £2million in a maximum of five projects to support the development of a connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) cyber-security testing capability. If there are successful projects, these capabilities may be created as part of a future competition.

Your proposal must fulfil three requirements:

  1. Find ways to measure cyber-physical resilience and maintain cyber security for vehicles, roadside infrastructure, supporting services and so on.
  2. Provide input specifications for one or more new cyber test facilities.
  3. Explore opportunities to develop new cyber related services.

Your project must address one of five themes.

Open Date:


Close Date:


Your proposal must fulfil all three of the following general requirements.

1. Find ways to measure and maintain cyber-physical resilience and identify vulnerabilities

Your project must identify methods to create and test cyber-physical and software architectures. This can include designs for vehicles, roadside infrastructure, supporting services and so on.

You should provide industry guidance for best practice in design and lifetime management and advice to government for future certification processes.

At the end of your project you must provide a report to answer this requirement. This will be shared with appropriate government agencies and may become public.

2. Provide test facility input specifications

Support the creation of specifications for one, or a selection of, new cyber test facilities as appropriate. These may be physical or virtual facilities or a combination.

At the end of your project you must provide a short report to answer this requirement. This will become a public document and will be available to any organisation considering building a cyber test facility.

3. Explore commercial opportunities

Explore opportunities to develop new cyber related services in the UK and global CAV marketplace.

At the end of your project you must provide a summary report to answer this requirement. This will be kept confidential between Innovate UK, CCAV and Zenzic.

This competition is split into five themes. Your proposal must answer one of these. Innovate UK are looking to fund a portfolio of projects across the themes.

1. Monitoring

Determine and develop techniques to monitor the cyber health of CAVs and supporting infrastructure.

Your techniques should determine when the vehicle (or infrastructure) is operating outside of normal parameters and recommend suitable responses. You should also consider how monitoring may fit into cyber security management systems (CSMSs).

2. Threats to connected vehicle networks

Determine how to use physical and virtual testing to identify and mitigate against complex threats.

Consider all interactions of vehicles, road-side communications equipment, smart infrastructure, mobile communications equipment and other possible factors which may present vulnerabilities or allow the growth of cyber threats.

3. Threats to automated vehicles

Investigate how individual automated vehicles (AVs) may be able to develop resilience and respond to cyber-attacks. The AV should be considered as a stand-alone system and as part of the wider connected vehicle network.

Research should include directed attacks against vehicle systems, including perception sensors and manipulation through data connections and shared information protocols, such as vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-everything (V2X).

4. Countermeasure and risk mitigation

Determine suitable scalable techniques that could be deployed as cyber threat countermeasures and what processes could be undertaken as risk mitigation.

Your solution should consider the connected vehicle and its supporting infrastructure.

5. Other

Other areas of cyber security which may improve the safety and security of vehicle occupants, service users, other road users (including vulnerable road users) and road safety at any scale.

Any UK business claiming funding must be eligible to receive state aid at the time we confirm you will be awarded funding. If you are unsure please take legal advice. For further information see our general guidance.

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £50,000 and £800,000. You can receive grant funding of up to £400,000 for your total eligible project costs.

Projects must start by 1 January 2020 and end by 31 March 2020. They can last between 3 and 4 months. Innovate UJK will not accept any project expenditure after 31 March 2020.

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
  • Claim grant funding
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

To collaborate with the lead organisation your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered business, academic institution, charity, 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 to take part by the lead applicant

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.

Zenzic contribution

Zenzic Ltd is established by CCAV as the hub to support the UK CAV ecosystem both in the UK and internationally. It is funded by government and industry.

All collaborators on your project must contribute 4% of the value of grant received to the running costs of Zenzic. This is not a claimable cost.

In order to comply with state aid regulations, the contribution cannot be provided by government. It is not eligible for grant funding. Zenzic will invoice all project partners for 4% of their grant fund value each time a grant payment is made. Project partners must demonstrate they have set up payment terms with Zenzic before the project can start.

If a partner is unable to fund the fee for good reason, the other project partners must provide the shortfall. Such arrangements should be agreed by the consortium and covered in the consortium agreement.

There is a charter outlining the principles by which Zenzic and the projects will collaborate.

Innovate UK have allocated up to £2million to fund feasibility studies projects in this competition.

For feasibility studies, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • Up to 70% if you are a micro or small business
  • Up to 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • Up to 50% if you are a large business

You can receive grant funding of up to £400,000 for your total eligible project costs.

The academic institutions or public sector organisations in your consortium can share up to 50% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one such organisation, this maximum is shared between them.

Innovate UK are not funding:

  • Capital or infrastructure projects
  • Collaborative R&D resulting in a product
  • Cyber security testing, except as demonstrations of new techniques, procedures and so on

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.