UK’s APC Seeks Proposals for £25 Million for R&D of Zero Tailpipe Emission Vehicles

May 13, 2019 by Scott McMahan

The UK's Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) invests up to £30 million, 3-times a year, in collaborative research and development projects. These pre-production projects must be match funded. In this funding round, APC is investing £25 million.

APC 13 seeks projects that strengthen the UK's long-term capabilities and associated supply chain in the designing, building and manufacturing of zero-tailpipe-emission vehicles. The intention of the funding is to help meet the future demands of vehicle-makers and establish the necessary supply chain.

As set out in the Industrial Strategy Automotive Sector Deal, the UK is committed to expanding its supply chain presence for the sector. For internal markets, this means promoting the industry's goal of increasing the level of UK content by value in domestically built vehicles to 50% by 2022.

This target is supported by the new National Manufacturing Competitiveness Levels (NMCL) program. It is intended to deliver the government's national supplier competitiveness and productivity improvement initiative.

APC welcomes projects which demonstrate a considerable change in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, and improvements in air quality compared to best in their class. Such projects can include technologies such as batteries, motors, power electronics, hybridization, and alternative propulsion systems. (see image above of Toyoda hydrogen fuel cell EV prototype). The project must concentrate on the automotive market as its primary application.

This competition follows a 2-stage process. A written application is followed by interviews for successful applicants from the first stage.

Project size

The funding rules stipulate that a project's total eligible costs must be 50% match-funded and between £5 million and £40 million. Projects can last between 18 and 42 months. Any UK business claiming funding has to be eligible to receive state aid at the time APC confirms the funding to be awarded.

The APC points out that it is not possible to give grants funding to organizations meeting the condition known as Undertakings in Difficulty. However, the APC advises, those interested in funding for such organizations seek legal advice and examine further information of the general guidance.

Project Lead Applicant Requirements

  • Have an active business base in the UK
  • Be a grant recipient
  • Involve at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • Include, as part of your consortium, a vehicle manufacturer or tier 1
  • Supplier who supplies parts directly to an original equipment manufacturer
  • Collaborate with others
  • Collaborator Requirements

Collaborators must:

  • be a UK based business, academic organisation, or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out your project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • work in collaboration with other businesses or research organisations

Non-UK based companies and research organisations are eligible to apply if they:

  • set up an active UK business base before they start their project, where the funded work will be carried out
  • provide evidence that they intend to expand their R&D activity in the UK after the project

Partners with no funding

Projects can include partners that do not receive any funding (for example, non-UK businesses). Their costs will count towards the total eligible project costs, but these partners will not count as collaborators.

Project proposals are due July 10 at 12pm.