Funding competition APC23: Industrialising net-zero automotive technology

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £20 million for late-stage R&D projects that help accelerate the UK towards a net zero automotive future.

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Competition sections

Description

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) provides funding, support, insight and foresight for the development of low emission transport solutions, and automotive technologies. It aims to support the UK’s transition towards net zero product manufacturing and supply chain in the UK automotive sector.

In this competition round APC is investing up to £20 million.

We are looking for collaborative, pre-production research and development (R&D) projects that:

  • support the UK’s long-term vision and underpinning capabilities by securing long term R&D investment
  • achieve through the associated supply chain, the design, build, test and manufacture of net-zero carbon emission vehicles

Projects must look to fulfil both these criteria to ensure the UK meets the future demand of vehicle makers and users, strengthening UK’s global impact and, anchoring the value-add across the whole supply chain.

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 £2.5 million and £20 million. Your project must be a minimum of 50% match-funded, with a suggested maximum number of six partners.

Who can apply

Your project

Your project must:

  • have total grant funding request between £2.5 million and £20 million
  • be a minimum of 50% match-funded
  • start by 1 October 2023
  • last between 18 and 42 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 and Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian and Belarusian source.

If your project’s total grant funding request or duration falls outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to info@apcuk.co.uk at least 10 working days before the competition closes. The APC will decide whether to approve your request.

If you have not requested approval or your application has not been approved by APC, 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
  • have an active registered business base in the UK
  • be a grant recipient
  • collaborate with other UK registered organisations

More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.

Academic institutions and research organisations cannot lead projects.

Project team

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

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

You must involve at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).

Non UK registered businesses and research organisations are only eligible to apply for funding if:

  • they set up an active UK-registered business where the funded project work will be carried out
  • provide evidence of an intention to expand their R&D activity in the UK during and after the project

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.

To be an eligible collaboration, the lead and at least one other organisation must apply for funding when entering their costs into the application.

Non-funded partners

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.

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

There is no limit on the number of applications an organisation can be involved in.

Previous applications

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition, however you can only submit the same application twice, without a material change.

We will not award you funding if you have:

Subsidy control (and State aid where applicable)

This competition provides funding in line with the Subsidy Control Act 2022. Further information about the Subsidy requirements can be found within the Subsidy Control Act 2022 (legislation.gov.uk)

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 Subsidy Control Act 2022 or the State aid rules, you should take independent legal advice. We are unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.

You must always 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

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) invests up to £75 million per annum, in collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects.

These are pre-production projects and applicants should apply for the minimum amount of APC funding required to make the project viable. The total project grant request must be no more than £20 million and no more than 50% of your total project costs. This is regardless of the individual partners’ grant claims.

In this round APC is investing £20 million.

A minimum of 70% of your projects total project costs must be incurred by commercial organisations.

If 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 but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

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

Advanced Propulsion Centre levy

A 3.5% levy is payable to the APC by all partners on grant received.

Your proposal

The aim of this competition is to seek proposals for collaborative R&D projects that design, develop and manufacture technology that will work towards delivering net zero carbon emission on-vehicle technologies for on-road or off-road vehicles.

Your project must:

  • contribute to the UK’s strategic aims and direction of travel towards net zero transport vision, such as the Automotive Council’s Roadmaps
  • deliver on-vehicle technologies and or associated manufacturing processes which support the transition to net zero
  • support growth, transition and security of the UK’s automotive supply chain, increasing capability, whilst improving productivity, efficiency and competitiveness

Your project must advance technologies in one or more of the following areas:

  • energy storage, batteries, their components, management and integration systems
  • fuel cell and associated balance of plant
  • electric machines
  • power electronics
  • fossil fuel free (at the point of use) internal combustion (in the case of on-road solutions, we will support project proposals which aim to achieve zero harmful tailpipe emissions)
  • hydrogen storage and management systems
  • manufacturing processes associated with industrialising relevant net zero technologies
  • direct recycling methods resulting in complete recovery of critical materials
  • digitalisation leveraged during the design, development, testing, validation and verification and production or in-service phases
  • digitalisation for vehicle development and design

The economic benefit of your project will be assessed on criteria including but not limited to:

  • scale and impact on the UK economy
  • foreign investment anchored in the UK
  • jobs created or safeguarded
  • upskilling or reskilling of workforce
  • automotive supply chain in the UK (upstream, mid-stream and downstream)
  • lifetime environmental impact of the vehicle and circular economy models

Your proposal must evidence:

  • a clear route to market exploitation, that can be evidenced, including IP generated for the UK
  • a credible consortium-led approach to the project, agreed in principle and able to proceed to a formal collaborative agreement
  • what would happen should the project not be funded

Projects will be encouraged to disseminate their results to bring benefit to the wider UK automotive industry.

Portfolio approach
We want to fund a variety of projects across different technologies, markets, technological maturities and research categories. We call this a portfolio approach.

Specific themes

You must consider which technology or technologies best represent your project and rank them in order of their significance and impact to your project. The one ranked first must be the lead technology.

  • electric machines and power electronics
  • energy storage and energy management
  • lightweight vehicles and powertrain structures
  • fuel cell and associated balance of plant
  • thermal propulsion systems and alternative fuels
  • digitalisation for development of low carbon vehicle innovation, data analytics, redesign, test and validation and verification

Your lead technology must be at least 50%. You can also rank up to an additional two supporting technologies that can have a maximum of 25% each.

Your percentages must add up to 100%.

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:

We cannot fund projects that are:

  • dependent on export performance, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product

16 January 2023
Competition opens
17 January 2023
Online briefing event: register to attend
15 March 2023 11:00am
Competition closes
14 April 2023
Invite to interview
28 April 2023
Responses to Economic Feedback
8 May 2023
BEIS Economic interview (if required)
10 May 2023
Responses to Technical feedback
12 May 2023
Any requested changes to VfM post BEIS Economic interview
15 May 2023
Presentations & Attendee List submitted
22 May 2023
Interview panel starts
3 July 2023
Applicants notified

Before you start

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

Before submitting, it is the lead applicant’s responsibility to make sure:

  • that all the information provided in the application is correct
  • your proposal meets the eligibility and scope criteria
  • all sections of the application are marked as complete
  • all partners have completed all assigned sections and accepted the terms and conditions (T&Cs)

You can reopen your application once submitted, up until the competition deadline. You must resubmit the application before the competition deadline.

What we ask you

The application is split into three sections:

  1. Project details.
  2. Application questions.
  3. Finances and Value for Money (VfM)

Accessibility and inclusion

We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and are committed to making our application process accessible to everyone. This includes providing support, in the form of reasonable adjustments, for people who have a disability or a long-term condition and face barriers applying to us. Read more on how we are making our application process more accessible and inclusive for everyone.

You must contact us as early as possible in the application process. We recommend contacting us at least 15 working days before the competition closing date to ensure we can provide you with the most suitable support possible.

You can contact us by emailing support@iuk.ukri.org or calling 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

Interviews

If your application passes the first stage of assessment, BEIS Value for Money (VfM) appraisers may want to call you to clarify the information you shared in the written economic assessment feedback questions.

The appraisers will talk to you about any of the following:

  • project risks
  • why grant funding is required for your project
  • any anticipated technology spill-over benefits
  • job projections
  • expected vehicle sales
  • CO2 savings
  • project expenditure

The call will happen after you have given BEIS your responses to their economic assessment feedback. This will be before the interviews, and we provisionally expect the calls to take place on 8th May 2023.

The APC will inform the lead contact of a one-hour time slot for the call with BEIS. The time slot is not flexible, due to the number of calls we need to make. We aim to keep calls to a maximum of four attendees from the applicant side to ensure the discussion is effective.

On the call we will want to talk to the person who filled out the VfM worksheet and anyone else needed to answer questions about the written economic assessment feedback responses. We will not ask representatives from each project partner to attend the call.

After the call and if your online application is assessed as eligible, you will be invited to attend an interview, where you must give a presentation Your interview will take place during the week beginning 22nd May 2023.

Before the interview and by the deadline stated in the invitation email, you must send:

  • a written response to the BEIS economic assessment feedback before the provisional call dates
  • a written response to the technical assessors’ feedback
  • a list of who will attend the interview
  • your interview presentation slides

Please be aware that the dates for these submissions are different. You cannot send them together. You must send your written response to the BEIS economic assessment feedback before the others, so that the VfM call can take place on 8th May 2023

You cannot make changes once these are submitted.

List of attendees

Agree the list with your consortium. Up to nine people from your project can attend, ideally one person from each organisation. We strongly recommend that you have both an Executive project sponsor and the intended Lead project manager in attendance. They must all be available on all published interview dates. We are unable to reschedule slots once allocated.

Presentation slides

Your interview presentation must:

  • use Microsoft PowerPoint
  • be no longer than 30 minutes
  • have no more than 30 slides
  • not include any video or embedded web links

You cannot change the presentation after you submit it or bring any additional materials to the interview.

Written response to technical assessor feedback

This an opportunity to answer the assessors’ concerns. It can:

  • be up to 10 A4 pages in a single PDF or Word document – template to be provided
  • include charts or diagrams as part of the 10 pages

All of the information including charts and diagrams need to be readable at 100% zoom. If they are not they will not be considered.

Written response to the BEIS economic assessment feedback

This must be a single PDF or Word document up to six A4 pages long a template will be provided.

All of the information including charts and diagrams need to be readable at 100% zoom. If they are not they will not be considered.

Interview

Interviews will take place at the APC in Warwick. You should allow up to two and a half hours for your interview.

You must email a mature draft of the collaboration agreement ahead of your interview.

After your presentation the panel will spend up to 60 minutes asking questions. You will be expected to answer based on the information you provided in your application form, presentation and the response to feedback.

After your interview

The panellists will individually score your application and these will be averaged for your overall interview score. This score will supersede the one you received from initial assessment. You will also have an averaged score for supply chain whereby you need to score on average 60% or above to receive funding.

We will notify you whether you have been successful or not by email and you will receive feedback on your interview within a week of notification.

Economic assessment

This is carried out by professional economists employed by BEIS, in both the written and interview stages. They assess whether the project is good value for money for taxpayers and the UK.

HM Treasury will only release grant funding if your project reaches an acceptable threshold of value for money. This analysis is quality assured by senior economists within BEIS to ensure the judgement is an accurate and independent reflection of the information that has been provided.

Report on economic outputs

As a condition of APC project grant funding, you must provide BEIS and APC with annual records which show the realised and expected economic outputs your project has produced.

You must provide robust, credible and timely data on your project’s progress. This data helps policymakers evaluate whether the APC programme is good value for money.

Each partner must:

  • flag any information they consider too costly to collect
  • agree report timings
  • report on economic monitoring information annually, or at an alternative schedule agreed with APC, Innovate UK and BEIS

You must provide other data if requested. Project monitoring and meetings will be carried out by representatives of Innovate UK, BEIS and APC, and any other individuals as agreed with you.

1. Project details

This section provides background for your application and is not scored.

Application team

Decide which organisations will work with you on your project and 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, as well as conducting a portfolio approach.

You must also identify using percentage splits, which automotive council strategic technology or technologies are the focus of your project:

  • electric machines and power electronics
  • energy storage and energy management
  • lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures
  • thermal propulsion systems
  • fuel cell and associated balance of plant
  • digitalisation for development of low carbon vehicle innovation

Your lead technology must be at least 50%. You can also rank up to an additional two supporting technologies that can have a maximum of 25% each.

Your percentages must add up to 100%.

For example, an innovative motor technology with integrated power electronics and Battery Management Systems (BMS) could be expressed as:

  • electric machines and power electronics (75%)
  • energy storage and energy management (20%)
  • lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures (0%)
  • thermal propulsion systems (5%)
  • fuel cell and associated balance of plant (0%)
  • significant reduction in vehicle development timescales (0%)
  • digitalisation for development of low carbon vehicle innovation (0%)

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 eligible for funding.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

2. Application questions

The technical assessors will score all your answers for questions 2 to 8. Questions 9 to 14 are appraised as part of the BEIS economic assessment. You will receive feedback for each scored question. Find out more about how our assessors assess.

You must answer all questions. Your answer to each question can be up to 400 words long. 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 on your project.

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

Question 2. Business Case

What is the business case for the project?

Explain:

  • the business opportunity for the organisations undertaking this project
  • your organisation’s internal justification for undertaking the project
  • your organisation’s strategy and how the project will contribute to this
  • the benefits to the lead partner and consortium members undertaking this project, both immediate and in the future

Your answer to this question can be up to 400 words long.

You can submit one appendix to support your answer. It can include diagrams and charts. It must be a PDF, up to two A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom, if it is not it will not be considered.

Question 3. Identify the market and your strategy to address it

How will you bring this technology to market and exploit its commercial potential?

Explain:

  • the scale, geography, and dynamics of the market, with evidence of your working or calculations
  • your market exploitation strategy including any barriers and how you will overcome them
  • who the competitors are and how you will manage this challenge

Your answer to this question can be up to 400 words long.

You can submit one appendix to support your answer. It can include diagrams and charts. It must be a PDF, up to two A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom, if it is not it will not be considered.

You can also submit letters of intent from potential suppliers or customers as an appendix to support your answer. It must be a PDF, up to two A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom, if it is not it will not be considered.

Question 4. Benefits to the UK Supply Chain

How will the project support the UK automotive supply chain?

Describe:

  • how the project supports UK localisation, on-shoring and growth
  • the number of jobs safeguarded, created, changed or displaced, outside of the consortium
  • the supply chain strategy for this technology area and how this project will impact UK content
  • further benefits for businesses outside of the consortium
  • the lasting effect and scale of the benefits
  • how the project will reduce supply chain risk
  • key processes, products or applications which will be developed or improved as a result

Your answer to this question can be up to 400 words long.

You can submit one appendix to support your answer. It can include diagrams and charts. It must be a PDF, up to two A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom, if it is not it will not be considered.

Question 5. Benefits of collaboration

What are the wider benefits of collaboration between the consortium partners?

Explain:

  • why the consortium is essential to deliver the project, and explain how knowledge will be shared between partners
  • the impact on resources (personnel and facilities) and skills within your consortium
  • how the project will unlock technical and commercial opportunities beyond the core aims of this project
  • what further applications there are for the outcomes in other sectors
  • what opportunities for future wider R&D activities in the auto industry you envisage as a result of this project
  • how you will disseminate these outcomes in the public domain

Your answer to this question can be up to 400 words long.

You can submit one appendix to support your answer. It can include diagrams and charts. It must be a PDF, up to two A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom, if it is not it will not be considered.

Question 6. Technical innovation

Which elements of the project are technically innovative and how will these outcomes be achieved?

Describe:

  • the technically innovative elements of the project and evidence why they are innovative
  • how the resulting technologies compare to the current best-in-class
  • the technical steps through which these outcomes will be realised
  • any expected resulting IP or patents

Your answer to this question can be up to 400 words long.

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

Question 7. Project management

How will you manage the project effectively?

Describe:

  • your proposed Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), showing a cost for each work package
  • your project plan in enough detail to identify any links or dependencies between work packages or milestones
  • your approach to project management, identifying any major tools and mechanisms you will use to achieve a successful outcome
  • specific detail on how project start-up will be managed
  • the project sponsors within each consortium partner
  • the project team with key members profiled
  • how escalation will be managed

Your answer to this question can 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 two A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 8. Risks

What are the main risks for this project?

Describe:

  • the main risks and uncertainties of the project, including the technical, commercial, managerial and environmental risks
  • how you will mitigate these risks
  • any key risks during the start-up phase and how they will be mitigated
  • any project inputs that are critical to completion, such as resources, expertise, data sets and test facilities, for example proving grounds
  • any output likely to be subject to regulatory requirements, certification, ethical issues and so on, and how you will manage this

Your answer to this question 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 two A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 9. Value for Money (VfM) workbook

The Value-for-Money (VfM) workbook and Questions 12 to 14 of the application relate to the economic value for money assessment.

You must download and complete the VfM workbook.

To complete the VfM workbook, complete the following steps:

  1. Download the VfM workbook from Question 9.
  2. Complete tabs Q12 to 17, following the guidance in each worksheet.
  3. Enter data into the grey cells and select an option from a drop-down list in the orange cells.
  4. Add extra rows in the ‘Jobs’ worksheet (in the middle of rows of input cells to preserve the formatting) so you can define jobs separately for each project partner for the required number of national vocational qualification (NVQ) levels.
  5. Use blank lines to title project partners and group the jobs according to your preferences.
  6. You must upload the completed worksheet as an appendix to Question 9.

Your answer to this question can be up to 400 words long

Your answers to the written Questions 12 to 14 and relevant appendices should demonstrate how the figures in your VfM workbook have been derived. Your answer to Question 11 should align with the project and post-project expenditure set out in Question 12.

Question 10. Additionality

Why does your project rely on APC funding and why do you need the amount you have applied for?

Using the appendix to provide supporting evidence, explain:

  • why your project cannot go ahead without APC support
  • why your project cannot be funded internally or through other private sources providing supporting evidence, for example notices of declined credit
  • why this specific amount of grant funding is required, reference can be made to the financial summary table
  • what would happen if your application was unsuccessful
  • if you decided not to internally fund, explain the decision-making process and provide evidence, such as any business case comparison (with or without APC funding), internal rate of return analysis or other comparative financial analysis of the project with and without APC funding
  • if the project could not go ahead in the UK without APC funding, where would it be located and why
  • provide information about alternative locations and type and size of operations, expected cost structure, wages, building, transport, energy, any financial support available, the availability of a qualified workforce

Your answer to this question can be up to 400 words long.

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

Question 11. Funding model

How is each partner funding their share of the project costs, and any follow-on R&D and capital investments required to scale up production?

Explain the source of each project partners’ financial contribution to the project, for example:

  • retained earnings
  • external debt
  • equity investment
  • other funding sources such as government grants

Please note: Match funding must be private funds, and not other UK Government grants. In accordance with APC competition rules, project match-funding must be greater than the sum of the APC grant and any other UK Government grants.

Explain how the consortium partners will fund any post-project R&D and capital investment to commercialise the technology.

Set out any risks and uncertainties around availability of funding for the project, and any required follow-on investment.

Your answer to this question can be up to 400 words long.

You must submit one appendix with evidence of your funding sources to support your answer. It must be a PDF, up to two A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

You must:

  • explain how you calculated project costs and anticipated post-project investments in the relevant boxes in tab Q12 of the VfM workbook
  • provide a summary of the project costs, the financial contribution from each project participant and the grant funding required in the financial summary table in the application form
  • declare any other funding from public bodies, including any tax relief, that relates to this project or application and that the consortium has applied for or received
  • indicate the size of the funding received, the relevant body with details of the type of funding and conditions

Question 12. Project expenditure

How have you estimated the required investment in R&D, skills and capital for this project, and any follow-on investment to commercialise the technology?

You must:

  • explain your calculations and assumptions made to quantify the amounts of spending and investment required
  • justify why your project costs and follow-on investments are realistic estimates

Please note: it is important that you explain your estimates of both direct project costs and any post-project expenditure to commercialise the technology and scale-up production

Your answer to this question can be up to 400 words long.

You must submit one appendix with evidence and details of your calculation methods to support your answer. It must be a PDF, up to two A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 13. Jobs

How have you quantified the number of jobs created or safeguarded by the project and as a result of any post-project R&D and manufacturing activities?

You must:

  • explain your calculations and assumptions made to quantify the number of jobs directly related to the project
  • your explanation should also cover any jobs included in your VfM workbook that are the result of post-project R&D and manufacturing activity that is directly related to the project
  • explain why the number of jobs and salaries are realistic, considering productivity and efficiency gains
  • for safeguarded jobs, explain and provide evidence to show that these jobs would be lost without government funding for this project

Your answer to this question can be up to 400 words long.

You must submit one appendix with your evidence and details of your calculation methods to support your answer. It must be a PDF, up to two A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 14. Sales and emissions

Provide further detail about the vehicle-related information you have given in tab Q13 in the VfM workbook.

You must:

  • justify the vehicles you have selected in the VfM workbook (vehicles 1 to 4)
  • explain how you have quantified vehicle sales, what assumptions you have used in your sales forecast, and justify why the sales forecast is realistic
  • explain why the comparator vehicles included in the VfM workbook are the best alternative for consumers by the time your technology reaches the market
  • explain any assumptions used in establishing fuel or energy consumption and CO2 emissions of the comparator vehicles selected in the VfM workbook
  • explain the specific contribution of this project to the future vehicle drivetrain, to quantify the impact of the overall emission savings your technology will achieve versus comparator vehicles

Your answer to this question can be up to 400 words long.

You must submit one appendix with evidence and documentation of your sales forecast and justification of comparator vehicles to support your answer. It must be a PDF, up to two A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 15. Marketing and communications project lead (not scored)

You must provide the full name and email address of a marketing and communications contact for the lead partner in your project.

Your answer can be up to 100 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

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) collaborates with UK government, the automotive industry and academia to accelerate the industrialisation of technologies, supporting the transition to deliver net zero emission vehicles.

Since its foundation in 2013, APC has funded 188 low-carbon projects involving 426 partners, working with companies of all sizes, and has helped to create or safeguard over 50,000 jobs in the UK. The technologies developed in these projects are projected to save over 312 million tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of removing the lifetime emissions from 12.6 million cars.

With its deep sector expertise and cutting-edge knowledge of new propulsion technologies, APC’s role in building and advising project consortia helps projects start more quickly and deliver increased value. In the longer term, its work to drive innovation and encourage collaboration is building the foundations for a successful and sustainable UK automotive industry.

In 2019 the UK government committed the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) to accelerate the development of a net zero vehicle supply chain, enabling UK based manufacturers to serve global markets. ATF investments are awarded through the APC to support strategically important UK capital and R&D investments that will enable companies involved in batteries, motors and drives, power electronics, fuel cells, and associated supply chains to anchor their future.

For more information go to apcuk.co.uk or follow us @theapcuk on Twitter and Advanced Propulsion Centre UK on LinkedIn.

APC competitions are formally delivered in partnership between APC, Innovate UK and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

APC will:

  • work with consortia to support bid development
  • support the competition process, including hosting both launch and guidance events and interviews
  • act as advocates for consortia to improve future competitions
  • support project delivery once contracts are awarded, through APC staff
  • act as a source of guidance for consortia during the critical project start-up phase, and while projects are running, through APC-appointed project delivery leads
  • monitor the impact of the project portfolio

APC can help by:

  • providing general guidance regarding interpretation of competition rules and guidelines on an informal basis
  • helping your consortium to structure the bid development process
  • explaining common pitfalls
  • answering questions regarding whether or not your project is within scope

Innovate UK will:

  • deliver the competition process and technical assessment framework
  • support and manage applicant queries about the competition process
  • issue and manage grant contracts
  • provide formal assurance that projects are meeting their commitments once they are running (known as project monitoring)
  • approve financial claims and issue funds

BEIS will:

  • assess the benefit that the proposed project will deliver to the UK economy through value for money assessment
  • make a recommendation to ministers to support funding if the benefit meets an acceptable level and all other assessment criteria are met
  • formally monitor delivery of economic outputs on an annual basis and after delivery of the project

Any information received by Innovate UK for this competition may be shared with APC and BEIS. Innovate UK has a data sharing agreement in place with these bodies which safeguards both personal and commercial data in accordance with data protection legislation.

Extra help

Please note that the APC’s role is to provide indicative guidance rather than formal advice. To contact APC email info@apcuk.co.uk

Data sharing

This competition is jointly operated by Innovate UK, and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC)

Any relevant information submitted and produced during the application process concerning your application can be shared by one agency with the other, for its individual storage, processing and use.

This means that any information given to or generated by Innovate UK in respect of your application may be passed on to BEIS and APC and vice versa. This would include, but is not restricted to:

  • the information stated on the application, including the personal details of all applicants
  • scoring and feedback on the application
  • information received during the management and administration of the grant, such as Monitoring Officer reports and Independent Accountant Reports

Innovate UK BEIS and APC are directly accountable to you for their holding and processing of your information, including any personal data and confidential information. Data is held in accordance with their own policies. Accordingly, Innovate UK, BEIS, and APC 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 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.

Next steps

If you are successful with this application, you will be asked to set up your project.

You must follow the unique link embedded in your email notification. This takes you to your IFS Set Up portal, the tool that Innovate UK uses to gather necessary information before we can allow your project to begin.

You will need to provide:

  • the name and contact details of your project manager and project finance lead
  • a redacted copy of your bank details
  • a collaboration agreement
  • an exploitation plan

In order to process your claims, we need to make sure that the bank details you give to us relate to a UK high street bank that is regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). The account must have a BACS clearing facility and be in the same company name as your application.

If you have any doubts that your bank account will not meet Innovate UK's funding criteria, you can use the sort code checker. If you input the sort code and find a tick next to the ‘BACS Direct Credit payments can be sent to this sort code’, this will give you an indication that the bank account you hold is acceptable.

Finance checks

We will carry out checks to make sure you are an established company with access to the funds necessary to complete the project.

You must check your IFS portal regularly and respond to any requests we have sent for additional information to avoid any delays.

Failure to complete project setup may result in your grant offer being withdrawn.

Your Grant offer letter (GOL)

Once you have successfully completed project setup, we will issue your GOL.

The GOL will be made available on your IFS portal. You will need to sign and upload this before you start your project.

Your GOL will show the start date for your project, do not start your project before this date. Any costs incurred before your start date cannot be claimed as part of your grant.

If your application is unsuccessful

If you are unsuccessful with your application this time, you can view feedback from the assessors. This will be available to you on your IFS portal following notification.

Sometimes your application will have scored well, and you will receive positive comments from the assessors. You may be unsuccessful as your average score was not above the funding threshold or your project has not been selected under the portfolio approach if this is applied for this competition.

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).

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