Funding competition PEMD Scale-up: Strand 2, manufacturing process development

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £5 million to scale up manufacturing in the power electronics, machines and drives supply chain. This strand will fund manufacturing process industrialisation to enhance volume and niche productivit

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Competition sections

Description

Drivers such as climate change, supply chain resilience and the cost of energy mean that there is a growing need to invest in manufacturing efficiency, particularly across the Power Electronics Machines and Drives (PEMD) value chain.

Innovate UK’s Driving the Electric Revolution, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £5 million in projects that enable the scale-up of PEMD manufacturing to develop a resilient, cross-sectoral, UK supply chain for these enabling technologies critical for net zero.

This competition is split into two strands:

Strand 1: Adopting manufacturing best practice

Strand 2 (this strand): Manufacturing process development, which aims to fund innovative process development projects that impact manufacturing cost, capability and efficiency to grow resilient manufacturing PEMD supply chains.

It is your responsibility to ensure you submit your application to the correct strand for your project. You will not be able to transfer your application and it will not be sent for assessment if it is out of scope.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding type

Grant

Project size

Your project’s total grant funding request must be between £50,000 and £800,000.

Who can apply

Your project

Your project must:

  • have a grant funding request between £50,000 and £800,000
  • start by 1 May 2023
  • last between 6 and 18 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian or Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian or Belarusian source.

If your total project’s grant funding request or duration falls outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to support@iuk.ukri.org at least 10 working days before the competition closes. We will decide whether to approve your request. If you have not requested approval or your application has not been approved by us, you will be made ineligible. Your application will then not be sent for assessment.

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • collaborate with other UK registered organisations

Academic institutions and research technology organisations RTOs cannot lead.


Project team

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

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.

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, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition but are limited to no more than 20% of your organisation’s total eligible costs.

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 provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.


Number of applications

A business can be involved in up to three applications across both strands of the competition. They can lead on a maximum of one application in each strand.

An academic institution, research and technology organisation (RTO), charity, not for profit or public sector organisation cannot lead on any applications but can collaborate on any number of applications across the two strands.

Previous applications

You cannot use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

We 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. We 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 our 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. We are unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.

You must at all times make sure 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 we need to change the terms of this competition, we will tell you as soon as possible.

Funding

Up to £5 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects 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.

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

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 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

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% 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 project costs if you are an RTO, charity, not for profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation

Your proposal

Drivers such as climate change, supply chain resilience and the cost of energy mean that there is a growing need to invest in manufacturing efficiency, particularly across the Power Electronics Machines and Drives (PEMD) value chain.

Innovate UK’s Driving the Electric Revolution, part of UK Research and Innovation, aims to make the UK PEMD supply chain more globally competitive by investing up to £5 million in projects that enable the scale-up of PEMD manufacturing.

In this strand we are looking to fund collaborative projects that address key research and development opportunities through innovative solutions that impact manufacturing cost, capability and efficiency to grow resilient manufacturing supply chains for UK PEMD.

Elements of the manufacturing supply chain that are considered in scope include:

  • materials processing
  • sub-component and component manufacturing
  • sub-system integration and assembly
  • final assembly of PEMD specific modules
  • remanufacturing
  • end of life disassembly and recycling

This list is not intended to be exhaustive. Other manufacturing process innovations may be in scope.

Projects must be able to demonstrate that:

  • the innovation will improve efficiency, productivity or flexibility of PEMD manufacturing processes
  • there are potential cost and energy savings and quality benefits to their business
  • they will have a positive impact on the environmental, societal and governance (ESG) performance of the PEMD supply chain
  • they are exploitable through future activities
  • there is a credible return on investment

Your project outputs should ideally have potential for cross-sector impact.

Portfolio approach

We will be funding a portfolio of projects across both strands that will be exploitable across multiple areas of the PEMD supply chain. These include markets, locations, strands, themes, technologies and technology maturities.

We call this a portfolio approach.

The Challenge Director reserves the right to make sure that the portfolio of successful projects, across all Driving the Electric Revolution programmes, will have the greatest positive impact to the UK’s PEMD supply chain.

Research categories

We will fund industrial research projects and experimental development projects, as defined in the guidance on categories of research.

Projects we will not fund

We are not funding projects that are:

  • fundamental research or proof of concept
  • not collaborative
  • not industry led
  • focusing on product development
  • not developing capability that will enhance UK PEMD supply chains
  • not demonstrating a credible return on investment
  • focused around batteries
  • dependent on export performance
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage

21 September 2022
Scotland briefing event: register to attend
21 September 2022
Competition opens
22 September 2022
Newcastle briefing event: register to attend
27 September 2022

South Wales briefing event: register to attend

29 September 2022

Midlands briefing event: register to attend

7 December 2022 11:00am
Competition closes
27 January 2023
Applicants notified

Before you start

You must read the guidance on applying for a competition on the Innovation Funding Service before you start.

What we ask you

The application is split into 3 sections:

  1. Project details.
  2. Application questions.
  3. Finances.

1. Project details

This section provides background for the assessors and is not scored.

Application team

Decide which organisations will work with you on the project. Invite people from those organisations to help complete the application.

Application details

Give your project’s title, start date and duration.

Research category

Select the type of research you will undertake.

Project summary

Describe your project briefly and be clear about what makes it innovative. We use this section to assign the right experts to assess your application.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Public description

Describe your project in detail and in a way that you are happy to see published. Do not include any commercially sensitive information. If we award your project funding, we will publish this description. This could happen before you start your project.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Scope

Describe how your project fits the scope of the competition. If your project is not in scope it will not be sent for assessment. We will tell you the reason why.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

2. Application questions

The assessors will score all your answers apart from question 1. You will receive feedback for each scored question. Find out more about how our assessors assess.

You must answer all questions. Do not include any website addresses (URLs) in your answers.

Question 1. Applicant location (not scored)

You must state the name and full registered address of your organisation, and any partners or subcontractors working with you on your project.

We are collecting this information to understand the geographical location of all applicants.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 2. Need or challenge

What problems or opportunities will your project address relating to the UK power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD) supply chain? Why is it important, and how does your project relate to the overall objectives of the Driving the Electric Revolution challenge?

Explain:

  • the main motivation for the project and why it will be transformative for the PEMD supply chain
  • whether environmental, societal and governance factors drive the need for your project
  • the clear commercial opportunity you are targeting and how you will achieve it
  • the manufacturing challenge that will be addressed in the PEMD supply chain
  • the key project objectives and key deliverables
  • any work you have already done to respond to this need, for example if the project focuses on developing an existing capability or building a new one
  • whether you have identified any similar innovation and its current limitations, including those close to market or in development

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 3. Approach and innovation

What is your approach to delivering the project objectives, and how is your project innovative for the UK PEMD supply chain?

Explain:

  • how you will address the PEMD supply chain need identified in question 2
  • what the nearest current state-of-the-art is, its limitations and how you will improve it
  • the sector in which the proposed solution is used and describe how it will be innovative for PEMD manufacturing
  • whether the innovation will focus on the application of existing processes or technologies in a new supply chain, the development of new processes or technologies for an existing supply chain or a totally disruptive approach
  • the freedom you have to operate
  • how the project will enhance the manufacturing and technical maturity of the process or capability (in terms of productivity, manufacturing efficiency and any environmental, societal and governance benefits)
  • how this builds on previous Research and Development investments
  • how this project fits with your current product, service lines or offerings
  • the nature of the outputs you expect from the project (for example report, demonstrator, know-how, new process, product or service design) and how these will help you to target the need, challenge or opportunity identified

Your answer can be up to 600 words long.

You can submit one appendix to support your answer. It can include diagrams and charts. It must be a PDF, up to 2 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 4. Team and resources

Who is in the project team and what are their roles?

Explain:

  • the project organisations and why this is the right consortia to deliver the project
  • the roles, skills and experience of all members of the project team that are relevant to the approach you will be taking (specifically state the lead project manager and their credentials)
  • the resources, equipment and facilities needed for the project and how you will access them
  • the details of any vital external parties, including subcontractors, who you will need to work with to successfully carry out the project
  • the current relationships between project partners and how these will change because of the project
  • any roles you will need to recruit for
  • how you have considered equality, diversity and inclusion in the development of your project consortium

If there is any research organisation involvement in your project, describe what specific skill sets they bring to the consortium that would otherwise prevent the success of the project.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

You can submit one appendix with a short summary of the main people working on the project to support your answer. It must be a PDF, up to 4 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 5. Supply chain awareness

What does the supply chain and market you are targeting look like?

Your response to this question must be specific to your project.

Describe:

  • the current supply chain specific to your innovation, in the UK and overseas, and how your project will enhance UK capability and offering
  • the sectors you will be targeting with this project
  • the markets (domestic, international or both) you will be targeting in the project, and any other potential markets
  • the size of the target markets for the project outcomes
  • the structure and dynamics of the target markets, including customer segmentation, together with predicted growth rates within clear timeframes
  • the target markets’ main supply or value chains and business models, and any barriers to entry that exist
  • the current UK position in targeting these markets
  • the size and main features of any other markets not already listed
  • your current position in the markets and supply or value chains outlined, and whether you will be extending or establishing your market position
  • your target customers, and the value to them

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 6. Outcomes and route to market

How will you industrialise the outcomes of the project to deliver the expected impact to the UK PEMD supply chain?

Explain:

  • the route to market in terms of industrialisation and supply chain considerations
  • how you will protect and exploit the outputs of the project, for example through know-how, patenting, designs or changes to your business model
  • your strategy for targeting the other markets you have identified during or after the project
  • If there is any research organisation activity in the project, describe:
  • your plans to spread the project’s research outputs over a reasonable timescale
  • how you expect to use the results generated from the project in further research activities

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 7. Impact on supply chain

What is the impact of the project outcomes on the UK PEMD supply chain?

How does a successful project enable you to grow your business, increase long term productivity and benefit environmental, societal and governance commitments?

Explain:

  • how the project will affect your productivity and growth, in both the short and the long term
  • how the project will impact the PEMD supply chain
  • how you are going to profit from the innovation, including increased revenues or cost reduction

Describe and, where possible, measure the wider economic benefits from the project to:

  • external parties
  • customers
  • others in the supply chain and aligned supply chains
  • broader industry
  • re-shoring capability to the UK
  • attracting investment (UK and Foreign Direct Investment)
  • the UK economy

Describe and, where possible, measure:

  • any expected impact on government priorities
  • any expected environmental impacts, either positive or negative, including embedded carbon and lifecycle emissions
  • any expected regional impacts of the project

Describe any expected social impacts, either positive or negative on, for example:

  • quality of life
  • social inclusion or exclusion
  • jobs, such as safeguarding, creating, changing or displacing them
  • education and skills
  • public empowerment
  • health and safety
  • regulations
  • diversity

Your answer can be up to 600 words long.

Question 8. Project management

What is your project plan for delivering your objectives and how will you project manage it effectively to ensure success?

Explain:

  • the main work packages of your project, indicating the lead partner assigned to each and the total cost of each one
  • the deliverables and milestones of each work package
  • your approach to project management, identifying any major tools and mechanisms you will use to get a successful and innovative project outcome
  • the management reporting lines
  • your project plan in enough detail to identify any links or dependencies between work packages or milestones

Your answer be up to 400 words long.

You must submit a project plan or Gantt chart as an appendix to support your answer. It must be a PDF, up to 2 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 9. Risks

What are the main risks for this project?

Explain:

  • the main risks and uncertainties of the project, including the technical, commercial, managerial and environmental risks
  • how you will mitigate these risks
  • any project inputs that are critical to completion, such as resources, expertise, and data sets
  • any output likely to be subject to regulatory requirements, certification, ethical issues and so on, and how you will manage this

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

You must submit a risk register as an appendix to support your answer. It must be a PDF, up to 2 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 10. Added value

How will this public funding help you to accelerate or enhance your approach to developing your project towards commercialisation? What impact would an injection of Driving the Electric Revolution funding have on the organisations involved?

Explain:

  • what advantages would public funding offer your project, for example, appeal to investors, more partners, reduced risk or a faster route to market (this list is not exhaustive)
  • the likely impact of the project outcomes on the organisations involved
  • what other routes of investment have you already approached
  • what your project would look like without public funding
  • why you are not able to wholly fund the project from your own resources or other forms of private-sector funding, and what would happen if the application is unsuccessful
  • how this project would change the Research and Development activities of all the organisations involved

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 11. Costs and value for money

How much will the project cost and how does it represent value for money for the Driving the Electric Revolution challenge and the taxpayer?

In terms of your project goals, explain:

  • your total project costs
  • the grant you are requesting
  • how each partner will finance their contributions to your project
  • how this project represents value for money for you and the taxpayer
  • how this project is expected to deliver increased turnover and return on investment to the taxpayer within 3 years of completion of your funded project
  • how it compares to what you would spend your money on otherwise
  • the balance of costs and grant across the project partners
  • any subcontractor costs and why they are critical to your project

Post project investment is expected. This is to be further cash investment by the consortium partners in new equipment, premises or staff. It must be reportable to Innovate UK as it will be measured if you are successful.

Your answer can be up to 600 words long.

3. Finances

Each organisation in your project must complete their own project costs, organisation details and funding details in the application. Academic institutions must complete and upload a Je-S form.

For full details on what costs you can claim see our project costs guidance.

Background and further information

Driving the Electric Revolution, part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, is investing up to £22 million in innovation projects that will support the UK’s drive towards net zero.

The Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge was launched in July 2019 by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).

The ISCF provides funding and support to UK businesses and researchers. The fund is designed to ensure that research and innovation takes centre stage in the government’s Industrial Strategy and is being administered by UK Research and Innovation.

Driving the Electric Revolution is an investment of £80 million. It was set up to help UK businesses seize the opportunities presented by the transition to a low carbon economy. The challenge aims to create world leading supply chains in the UK and expertise for the manufacture of Power Electronics, Machines and Drives (PEMD) across multiple sectors.

This is part of a larger effort across many technologies and sectors to catalyse the government’s green industrial revolution in transport, energy, and industrial sectors, aligned to the ten-point plan.

Data sharing

This competition is operated by Innovate UK.

Innovate UK is directly accountable to you for its holding and processing of your information, including any personal data and confidential information. Data is held in accordance with our own policies. Accordingly, Innovate UK will be data controllers for personal data submitted during the application. Innovate UK’s Privacy Policy is accessible here.

Innovate UK complies with the requirements of GDPR, and is committed to upholding the data protection principles, and protecting your information. The Information Commissioner’s Office also has a useful guide for organisations, which outlines the data protection principles.

Find a project partner

If you want help to find a project partner, contact the Innovate UK KTN.

Support for SMEs from Innovate UK EDGE

If you receive an award, you will be contacted about working with an innovation and growth specialist at Innovate UK EDGE. This service forms part of our funded offer to you.

These specialists focus on growing innovative businesses and ensuring that projects contribute to their growth. Working one-to-one, they can help you to identify your best strategy and harness world-class resources to grow and achieve scale.

We encourage you to engage with Innovate UK EDGE, delivered by a knowledgeable and objective specialist near you.

Contact us

If you need more information about how to apply or you want to submit your application in Welsh, email support@iuk.ukri.org or call 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

Innovate UK is committed to making support for applicants accessible to everyone.

We can provide help for applicants who face barriers when making an application. This might be as a result of a disability, neurodiversity or anything else that makes it difficult to use our services. We can also give help and make other reasonable adjustments for you if your application is successful.
If you think you need more support, it is important that you contact our Customer Support Service as early as possible during your application process. You should aim to contact us no later than 10 working days before the competition closing date.

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