Funding competition APC: ARMD3 - Advanced route to market demonstrator 3

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £15 million for late stage R&D projects that help accelerate the UK towards a zero emission automotive future.

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Competition sections


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with the Department of Business and Trade (DBT) through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), the automotive industry and academia, to invest up to £15 million in the Advanced Route to Market Demonstrator 3 (ARMD3) competition.

These will be to accelerate the industrialisation of technologies, digital optimisation and manufacturing processes, to support the UK’s transition to a zero emissions automotive industry.

The aim of this competition is to develop a product or process demonstrator, to show increased capability, and commercial exploitation opportunity, as a result of the project. The project will utilise future zero emission powertrain technology as a key element in the UKs transition to net zero.

We are looking for business led late-stage R&D projects that will demonstrate advanced propulsion technologies. The output of these projects must be in the form of a demonstrator.

Your proposal must explain how technology development will be significantly accelerated through your project and must clearly describe how these products will be brought to market.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition has a funding limit, so we may not be able to fund all the proposed projects. It may be the case that your project scores highly but we are still unable to fund it.

This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated in this Innovate UK competition brief. We cannot guarantee other government or third party sites will always show the correct competition information.

Funding type


Project size

Your project’s total grant funding request must be between £500,000 and £1.5 million. Your project must be a minimum of 50% match funded.

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 making reasonable adjustments, for people who have a disability or a long-term condition and face barriers applying to us.

You can contact us at any time to ask for guidance.

We recommend you contact us at least 15 working days before this competition’s closing date to allow us to put the most suitable support in place. The support we can provide may be limited if you contact us close to the competition deadline.

You can contact Innovate UK by email or call 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am to 12pm and 2pm to 5pm UK time, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

Who can apply

Your project

Your project must:

  • have a grant funding request of between £500,000 and £1.5 million
  • have a minimum of 50% match funded
  • last between 9 and 12 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • start by 1 October 2024
  • end by 30 September 2025

Projects must always start on the first of the month and this must be stated within your application. Your project start date will be reflected in your grant offer letter if you are successful.

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 project’s total grant funding request or duration falls outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to least 10 working days before the competition closes. The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and the Department of Business and Trade (DBT) 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 or work alone 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 where applicable

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)

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 by the start of the project
  • provide evidence of an intention to expand their R&D activity in the UK during and after the project

A company registration number starting with a FC or BR is not considered as a UK registered business and not eligible to apply for funding.

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service (IFS) by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once partners have accepted the invitation, they will be asked to login or to create an account in the IFS. They are responsible for entering their own project costs in the application.

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 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 are no limits on the number of applications an organisation can be involved in.

Use of animals in research and innovation

Innovate UK expects and supports the provision and safeguarding of welfare standards for animals used in research and innovation, according to best practice and up to date guidance.

Applicants must ensure that all of the proposed work within projects, both that in the UK and internationally, will comply with the UKRI guidance on the use of animals in research and innovation.

Any projects selected for funding which involve animals will be asked to provide additional information on welfare and ethical considerations, as well as compliance with any relevant legislation as part of the project start-up process. This information will be reviewed before an award is made.

Previous applications

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

You can make a maximum of two submissions to Innovate UK with any given proposal. If Innovate UK judges that your proposal is not materially different from your previous proposal, it will be counted towards this maximum.

If your application goes through to assessment and is unsuccessful, you can reapply with the same proposal once more.

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 (

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 the Windsor Framework 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.


Up to £15 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

A minimum of 70% of your 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.

The balance between your total project costs and the amount of grant awarded must be funded by the organisation receiving the grant.

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.

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 develop and realise the demonstration of capability that could lead to further business exploitation, as a direct result of this demonstrator. This will utilise future net zero powertrain technology as a key element in the UK transition to zero emissions for the automotive sector.

Your proposal must work towards delivery of zero emissions on vehicle technologies for on-road or off-road vehicles.

Vehicle applications in scope must include:

  • on highway including last mile
  • off highway including agriculture and mining

In the case of on-road solutions, we will only support project proposals which aim to achieve zero harmful tailpipe emissions.

Capability demonstration can be through:

  • a physical vehicle
  • a physical sub-system

It can also be an equivalent digital demonstrator that can be operated or displayed at Cenex Expo in 2025, as a key element of the dissemination requirements.

Your project must demonstrate the advancement of on-vehicle technologies in one or more of the following areas:

  • energy storage, batteries and their components and integration systems
  • fuel cell systems and their components and integration systems
  • electric machines and their components and integration systems
  • power electronics and their components and integration systems
  • fossil fuel free internal combustion, at the point of use, for on-road solutions we will only support project proposals which aim to achieve zero harmful tailpipe emissions
  • lightweight materials, manufacturing, design methods and processes
  • on vehicle hydrogen storage and management systems
  • design for circular economy and sustainability, including the disassembly, recovery, and reuse of materials used in the project technologies
  • digitalisation of design for manufacture and recycling, development of zero emissions vehicle innovation, manufacture of vehicle systems and sub-systems, data analytics, redesign, test and validation and verification

Technology maturity expectations for this competition should be looking at TRL 5-6 and MRL 4-5 by completion, based on published Automotive Technology and Manufacturing Readiness Levels.

You will be required to provide a close out report and case study at the end of your funded project.

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 of the technologies listed below best represent your project.

If you are using multiple technologies, 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 have a significance and impact ranking of 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:

  • focussed only on the development of clean fuels
  • not aligned with the UK’s net zero research innovations framework
  • requesting more than 50% grant for total project costs
  • predominantly off vehicle
  • focussed on process or manufacturing
  • focussed on recycling
  • developing either e-Scooters or e-Bikes

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
19 March 2024
Q&A session: join at 11am
19 March 2024
Online briefing event: watch the recording
25 March 2024
Competition opens
1 May 2024 11:00am
Competition closes
21 May 2024
Invite to interview
3 June 2024
Virtual interview panel start
6 June 2024
Virtual interview panel end
21 June 2024
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
  • if collaborative, that 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.

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 making reasonable adjustments, for people who have a disability or a long-term condition and face barriers applying to us.

You can contact us at any time to ask for guidance.

We recommend you contact us at least 15 working days before this competition’s closing date to allow us to put the most suitable support in place. The support we can provide may be limited if you contact us close to the competition deadline.

You can contact Innovate UK by email or call 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am to 12pm and 2pm to 5pm UK time, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).


If your application passes the first stage of assessment, you may be invited to attend an interview. This is a virtual interview panel where applications are subject to further scrutiny. This will include a short project presentation by the consortium followed by a Q&A session.

The date and time of your interview will be included in your invitation.

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

  • must send a list of who will attend the interview
  • must send your interview presentation slides
  • can send a written response to the assessors’ feedback

List of attendees

Agree the list with your consortium, all partner organisations must be represented at the interview. You can have a maximum of six attendees at the interview. 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 10 minutes
  • have no more than 5 slides
  • not include any video or embedded web links

The presentation content should be as follows:

Slide 1: Introduction to project

Slide 2: Market opportunity, why is this project strategically important

Slide 3: What outcomes or outputs will this project deliver

Slide 4: How will the project be delivered

Slide 5: Summary

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


After your presentation the panel will spend 15 minutes asking questions. You will be expected to answer based on the information you provided in your application form and presentation. You must expect questions on the appropriateness of your costs.

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 unless stated otherwise in the competition brief. 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.

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.

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

  • 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 vehicle system or sub-system development, design, test and validation integration

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%)
  • thermal propulsion systems (5%)
  • lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures (0%)
  • fuel cell and associated balance of plant (0%)
  • significant reduction in vehicle development timescales (0%)
  • digitalisation for vehicle development and design (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 100 words long.


We expect that the technologies being developed through this competition will already have reached an appropriate level to ensure you are able to deliver an on-vehicle demonstrator by the end of the project.

Applicants must describe how their project aligns to the competition objectives and associated technology themes, providing up to date evidence where possible.

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 assessors will score all your answers apart from questions 1, 2 and 12. You will receive feedback for each scored question. Find out more about how our assessors assess and how we select applications for funding.

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. Animal testing (not scored)

Will your project involve any trials with animals or animal testing?

You must select one option:

  • Yes
  • No

We will only support innovation projects conducted to the highest standards of animal welfare.

Further information for proposals involving animal testing is available at the UKRI Good Research Hub and NC3R’s animal welfare guidance.

Question 3. Market opportunities

What market opportunities have been identified and how would these be exploited?


  • the market dynamics
  • the competitive conditions which the project seeks to change or take advantage of
  • the scale of the potential opportunity

Explain, quantify and provide evidence of:

  • the exploitable outputs
  • the potential market size
  • the route to market
  • the commercial benefits

A credible route to market must be identified and you must specify any letters of support you have received.

Explain how this demonstrator will unlock specific market opportunities and accelerate further business growth in manufacturing and the associated supply chain.

You must provide evidence that your project is integral to the business strategy of all project partners and outline the arrangements relating to exploiting the project’s intellectual property rights. If the developed technology has potential applications in other market/sectors, these should also be identified.

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. Innovation

What is innovative about your project?

You must clearly identify the extent to which your project is innovative, both commercially and technically.

Describe any new technology your project is seeking to create, develop or improve, comparing this to what is currently available in the market.

Explain how the know-how or intellectual property of the consortia members is likely to develop because of the project.

In terms of commercial innovation, explain how existing technology is being applied in a new way and how this will deliver business benefit to the partners. If applicable, describe where any areas of technology transfer should have been specified, for example where technology is migrating across sector boundaries.

Question 5. Technical approach

What technical approach will be adopted?

Provide an overview of the technical approach your project will take, including the main objective of the work. You must also provide a description of the current design and development status.

Describe the structure and content of the technical work packages together with main technical, design and validation and engineering challenges to be addressed.

You can submit one appendix to support your answer. It can include charts, CAD, photographs, schematics, or technical data which help to explain. 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 6. Project management

How will you ensure effective control and timely delivery of the project?


  • your approach to project management, identifying any major tools and mechanisms you will use to achieve a successful outcome
  • your proposed work packages, indicating the lead partner assigned to each and the total cost of each one
  • your key milestones including the frequency and nature of project reviews
  • your project plan in enough detail to identify any links or dependencies between work packages or milestones.
  • the project management reporting lines
  • how will effective project governance be implemented

As the project must start on or before 1 October 2024, project start up is critical, therefore explain your delivery plan to achieve this, and provide confidence that you can start within this time including the ability to match fund as per Question 9

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 7. Team

Does the project team have the skills and experience to deliver the project objectives?


  • the complementary capabilities of your team and any consortium members and the specific know-how or expertise they will contribute
  • your capacity and the capacity of any partners in terms of design, test and development, prototyping and manufacturing activities
  • how any gaps in the team’s capabilities will be addressed, including the use of identified subcontractors where applicable
  • how your organisation and any partners fit into a manufacturing supply chain for the product

If projects are single entity, then you need to justify how you have the capability to deliver the project as such, and why this is the best solution for the successful delivery of the project.

Question 8. Risk management

What are the risks affecting the project and how will the consortium manage them?


  • the main risks and uncertainties of your project, including the technical, commercial, managerial and environmental risks
  • how you will mitigate these risks
  • the key tools and mechanisms that will be utilised, to provide confidence that effective control will be in place

You are encouraged to avoid understating risk levels, as this may be interpreted as failure to recognise the importance of risk management to the success of the project.

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 9. Project dissemination

How will the results of the project be disseminated?

How will your project plan to disseminate the results following successful delivery, this can include but is not limited to:

  • new web content
  • customer presentations
  • industry exhibits
  • conferences and seminars
  • written publications

You will need to deliver a demonstrator at Cenex Expo in 2025.

You must provide:

  • a clear description of what will be delivered
  • an accurate description of all aspects of the demonstrator with clear owners
  • information on potential interactions with the Cenex Expo attendees
  • details of how potential outputs of the demonstrator can be exploited for example, products or services, processes or applications

List or describe how the potential outputs of this demonstrator project can be exploited, such as: products or services, processes, or applications. Be clear how these outputs will be exploited by partners and organisations within the project and beyond, where applicable.

You will be required to provide a close out report and case study at the end of your funded project.

Question 10. Costs

How much will the project cost and how does it represent value for money for the team and the taxpayer?


  • your total project costs
  • the grant you are requesting
  • and provide evidence on how each partner will finance their contributions to your project, how this project represents value for money for you and the taxpayer
  • 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

Question 11. Added value

How will this public funding help you to accelerate or enhance your approach to developing your project towards commercialisation?

You must provide evidence that the funding will increase the total amount that the consortia partners spend on R&D in the UK.


  • the advantages public funding would offer your project, for example, accelerated development
  • what your project might look like without public funding
  • the benefits from involvement of the partners
  • the wider benefits to the UK supply chain and automotive sector

Where applicable, describe and evidence:

  • potential economic and environmental benefits, such as jobs created or safeguarded
  • projected investments
  • growth in sales and profitability and any carbon or air quality savings

Question 12. 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

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. You can also view our Application Finances video.

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, UK government through APC has funded 264 low-carbon projects involving 492 partners, working with companies of all sizes, and has helped to create or safeguard over 58,000 jobs in the UK. The technologies developed in these projects are projected to save over 410 million tonnes of CO2.

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.

The UK government invests up to £75 million per annum through the APC, in collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects.

For more information go to or follow us @theapcuk on X (formally Twitter) and Advanced Propulsion Centre UK on LinkedIn.

APC competitions are formally delivered in partnership between APC, Innovate UK and the Department for Business and Trade (DBT).

This competition is part of a wider set of investments across transport at Innovate UK.

Working with our partners, we are investing to accelerate innovation across Aerospace, Road, Rail and Maritime. Our work covers key themes such as Net Zero and the future opportunities presented by new technologies, such as autonomy and to tackle practical challenges seen every day in the transport system.

This is aligned to our Transport Vision 2050 which we have published after extensive engagement with UK industry and stakeholders. You can read the Vision and contribute to the debate at UK TRANSPORT VISION 2050

You can also find out more information about what we do across our transport programmes at Innovation in transport.

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

DBT 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 DBT. 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

Data sharing

This competition is jointly operated by Innovate UK, and the Department of Business and Trade (DBT) and Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC) (each an ‘agency’).

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 DBT 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, DBT 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, DBT and APC will be data controllers for personal data submitted during the application.

Innovate UK’s Privacy Policy

Department for Business and Trade Privacy Policy

Advanced Propulsion Centre UK’s (APC) Privacy Policy

Innovate UK complies with the requirements of UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, and is committed to upholding data protection legislation, and protecting your information in accordance with data protection principles.

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 Business Connect.

Support for SMEs from Innovate UK Business Growth

If you receive an award, you will be contacted about working with an innovation and growth specialist at Innovate UK Business Growth. 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 Business Growth, delivered by a knowledgeable and objective specialist near you.


Your application will be reviewed by five independent assessors based on the content of your application and their skills or expertise relevant to your project. All of the scores awarded will count towards the total score used to make the funding decision unless you are notified otherwise.

You can find out more about our assessment process in the General Guidance.

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 Innovation Funding Service (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 for us to process your claims, you must make sure you have a valid UK business bank account. It can take several weeks for a new account to be created if required. We recommend starting this process as early as possible to avoid any delays to your project start date.

The bank account which grant is to be paid into must:

  • be a business account in the same name as the organisation listed in IFS
  • be from a UK bank regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)
  • have a cheque and credit clearing facility

Online accounts are eligible as long as they meet the above criteria.

Innovate UK will accept most banking societies apart from:

  • Viva Wallet
  • Intesa Sanpaolo
  • Equals Money UK Limited

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 for us to approve. Once approved we will send you an email with permission to start your project on your confirmed start date.

You must not start your project before the date stated on your email and GOL. Any costs incurred before your agreed start date cannot be claimed as part of your grant.

If your GOL is approved on or before the fifteenth of the month it will be dated from the first of that month. If your GOL is approved after the fifteenth, it will be dated the first of the next month.

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 or call 0300 321 4357.

Our phone lines are open from 9am to 12pm and 2pm to 5pm UK time, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

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