+44 (0) 1925 551 774

Driving the Electric Revolution – PEMD Skills Hub


UK-registered organisations can apply for up to £1million from Driving the electric revolution for the development of a Power Electronics, Machines and Drives skills hub.

Innovate UK’s Driving the electric revolution challenge, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £1million in a single project to create a Power Electronic, Machines and Drives (PEMD) skills hub. This is to support the challenge aims of creating world leading supply chains and expertise for the manufacture of PEMD in the UK.

The aim of this competition is to establish the hub as a lasting ‘platform’ that will connect training and education course providers with employers and learners. The hub will be accessible to new learners, professionals already working in PEMD, and those wanting to develop expertise in specialist areas.

The hub will impartially curate, organise and host a range of innovative and traditional courses that meets industry needs and encourages the community to share PEMD skills.

The funding will support:

  • The development of the platform for the hub
  • The development of a cohesive UK PEMD skills community
  • Operational costs for up to 36 months to enable the hub to become established

The hub must operate for at least 10 years in total from the date of the funding agreement being signed. You must be able to provide the necessary remaining operational investment from your own means to financially support the hub for the rest of this period after the grant draw-down has ended.

The maximum grant you can claim in this competition is £1million. Your project’s total eligible costs are not limited.

Open Date:


Close Date:


The aim of this competition is to provide funding to establish a power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD) skills hub.

This skills hub will be a platform for the UK’s PEMD educators and training providers, showcasing, organising and signposting to their training courses and educational materials across all levels.

The hub will give learners and businesses impartial information and access to the UK’s PEMD training courses and educational materials in one place. This will allow learners and businesses to understand what competencies they need, and find the training courses to develop these.

Your proposal must include all of the following:

1.Platform development

The hub must:

  • Design, develop and deliver an online platform that provides information about PEMD training courses, educational materials and career path development in the UK
  • Curate, collate and organise easy to access online and face-to-face education and training material
  • Engage young people and others outside the PEMD workforce to raise awareness
  • Develop a distinctive and identifiable brand
  • Develop a competency framework for the whole PEMD workforce, supporting a competency-based approach for career path and job role planning
  • Create a system of recording and recognising cross-institutional achievements of learners with a verifiable and secure means

2.Community building

The hub must:

  • Connect course providers with employers and learners to deliver education and training to new learners, professionals already working in PEMD, and those wanting to develop expertise in specialist areas
  • Build partnerships with educators and training providers across all levels
  • Build a database of existing education and training courses, and future courses
  • Build relationships across all sectors of the PEMD industry to understand and advise skills competencies and training need
  • Encourage learners to consider careers in the UK’s PEMD industry
  • Provide a UK wide solution that also works at a regional level
  • Have an active leadership role in equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) for PEMD skills, with an effective EDI strategy to address challenges relevant to the topics and communities of the hub

3.Supporting operational activities

The hub must:

  • Provide a sustainable and long-lasting service to the UK’s PEMD community
  • Operate for at least 10 years
  • Be able to provide the necessary operational investment from your own means to financially support the hub for the remaining period after the grant draw-down has ended
  • Acquire commercial licensing agreements and a mechanism to share training content and education material
  • Monitor and report to the DER Challenge and other stakeholders on the performance of the platform
  • Analyse data on course availability, training demand, employer needs and required skill sets and competencies, to identify and advise on gaps to the DER Challenge team and other stakeholders

The Driving the Electric Revolution team reserves the right to approach and agree with projects’ changes of scope during the project lifecycle.

This can include recommending changes to project partners in order to achieve the challenge objectives. Further funds may be available to support such changes.

Your project must:

  • Not claim more than £1million grant
  • Start by 1st April 2022
  • Deliver an operational hub by 1 September 2022
  • Carry out its project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results in the UK

Innovate UK will fund a single project that will develop a platform, create the skills community and manage the hub.

The funding from UK Research and Innovation will end by 31 March 2025. This will be the end of the grant draw down period.

The hub must operate for at least 10 years in total from the date of the funding agreement being signed.

Lead organisation

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

  • Be a UK-registered business of any size, research organisation, research and technology organisation (RTO), academic institution, charity, not-for-profit, or public sector organisation
  • Demonstrate clear support for your application from education and training providers, across all qualification levels
  • Demonstrate clear industrial support for your application, covering a cross section of technologies and sectors
  • Have detailed knowledge of the power electronics, machines and drives skills landscape in the UK

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

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

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 collaborating the lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding by entering their costs during the application.

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding. Their costs will count towards the total eligible project costs.

The winning proposal for this competition will support the overall Driving the electric revolution challenge’s skills agenda and collaborate with the challenge programme.

The hub will be expected to attend cohort meetings with other skills projects funded by the Challenge. You will share non-commercially sensitive results and best practice, to encourage further collaboration and skills, talent and training opportunities.


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

An eligible organisation can lead or collaborate on any number of applications.

An eligible organisation 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, 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 up to £1million to fund a single project in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If the majority of your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

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

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.

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 100% of the total eligible project costs.

You could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-s registered institution such as an academic
  • 100% of your eligible project costs if you are an RTO, charity, non-profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation

Innovate UK are not funding projects that:

  • Require ISCF funding for new buildings or capital infrastructure to be built
  • Are not related to PEMD skills
  • Are PEMD CR&D projects
  • Focus on skills and training material or course development
  • Are claiming in excess of the £1million grant limit
  • Are dependent on export performance
  • Are dependent on domestic inputs usage

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.