Funding competition APC 12: advancing the UK’s low carbon automotive capability

£20 million of collaborative (match) funding is available for UK-developed late stage R&D, to support growth in advanced low carbon propulsion capability in the automotive sector.

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Competition sections

Description

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) invests up to £30 million, 3 times a year, in collaborative research and development (R&D) projects. These are pre-production projects and must be match funded. In this round APC is investing £20 million.

APC 12 is looking for projects that support the UK’s long-term capabilities and associated supply chain in the design, build and manufacture of zero tailpipe emission vehicles.

We also welcome projects which demonstrate a significant change in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, compared to best in class. This can include technologies such as motors, batteries, power electronics, hybridisation and alternative propulsion systems.

Projects must support the growth of these technologies, creating more jobs and capability throughout the UK supply chain.

Your project must concentrate on the automotive market as its primary application.

This competition follows a 2 stage process:

  1. Written application.
  2. Interviews for successful applicants from the first stage.

This competition closes at 12pm midday UK time.

Funding type

Grant

Project size

Your project’s total eligible costs must be 50% match funded and between £5 million and £40 million. Projects can last between 18 and 42 months.

Who can apply

State aid

Any UK business claiming funding must be eligible to receive state aid at the time we confirm you will be awarded funding. If you are unsure please take legal advice. For further information see our general guidance.

Meeting our eligibility criteria

There may be opportunities to fund a project outside these guidelines. Contact APC on +44(0)24 7652 8700 at least 10 days before the competition closes.

Lead applicant

To lead a project you must:

  • have an active business base in the UK
  • be a grant recipient
  • involve at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • include, as part of your consortium, a vehicle manufacturer or tier 1 supplier who supplies parts directly to an original equipment manufacturer
  • collaborate with others

Collaborators

To collaborate on a project you must:

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

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

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

Partners with no funding

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

If you are not sure whether you are eligible, contact APC at info@apcuk.co.uk or call +44 (0)24 7652 8700

Resubmissions

If an application is unsuccessful, you may use the feedback received to re-apply with the same project in a future APC competition.

Funding

We have allocated up to £20 million to match fund innovation projects in this competition. The total grant request at application cannot exceed 50% of the total eligible project costs, of which:

  • at least 70% must be incurred by commercial organisations
  • a maximum of 30% is available to research participants, and if there is more than one research participant, this amount will be shared between them

The percentage of costs you can claim varies depending on:

  • the type of research you are carrying out
  • the type of organisations involved
  • the outcome of a value for money (VfM) economic assessment carried out by the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small business
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 50% if you are a large business

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 business
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 25% if you are a large business

The research organisations in your consortium can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation, this maximum will be shared between them.

This competition provides state aid funding under the General Block Exemption Regulation. It is your responsibility to make sure that your organisation is eligible to receive state aid.

Your proposal

APC 12 is seeking proposals for collaborative R&D projects that demonstrate the development of on-vehicle technologies for on or off-road vehicles. These must either accelerate the development of low and zero tailpipe emission capable technologies, or demonstrate significant changes in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.

APC is particularly looking for projects that support the UK’s long-term supply chain and associated capabilities, in the design, build and manufacture of low and zero tailpipe-emission capable vehicles.

This includes technologies such as:

  • motors
  • batteries
  • power electronics
  • hybridisation
  • alternative propulsion systems

Your project must support the growth of these technologies, creating more jobs and capability throughout the UK supply chain.

Your application must have a proven technology idea that will be both technically viable and production ready at the end of the project. You must show:

  • a clear route to market and have a consortium able to deliver this
  • the economic benefits of the project, such as new and safe-guarded jobs, new business activity, or an expansion of products and services
  • that the primary application of the project is for the automotive industry
  • how the project will support upskilling and knowledge sharing in the UK
  • that the project delivers impacts that would not be achieved in business as usual
  • what would happen to the project if funding is not successful and why the specific amount of funding is needed
  • how UK plc will benefit from any intellectual property generated by the project
  • that you will demonstrate the majority of the technologies in a system or major sub system in a vehicle representative environment

We are looking to fund a portfolio of projects, across a variety of technologies, markets, technological maturities and research categories.

Priority will be given to applications that provide evidence that their project will have a significant positive impact on the next generation UK supply chain. This can include projects that will make a major investment in:

  • creating new supply chains supporting the transition to electrification
  • add resilience to existing supply chains
  • attracting new companies not traditionally into automotive into the sector

We strongly encourage you to:

  • demonstrate senior management commitment to the project and consortium
  • ensure the consortium’s collaboration agreement is well advanced at the point of submission
  • include the most important supply chain members in your consortium
  • show how you will get disruptive technologies to market faster
  • contact and work with organisations that are an important part of the supply chain but are not typically involved in R&D, such as tooling, manufacturing processes and materials
  • focus on alternative propulsion systems which move the industry towards zero emissions, including hybridisation
  • consider the possibility of technology transfer from other sectors into automotive
  • focus on technologies that are identified in the Automotive Council’s roadmaps
  • focus on lasting growth with the electric and electrified vehicle supply chain
  • consider how to make results from this work public, where it helps share best practice while not damaging commercial interests

APC will also consider projects that focus on the significant reduction of carbon dioxide from advanced internal combustion engines.

For further clarification on the scope of this competition, please contact APC by calling +44(0) 24 7652 8700.

Specific themes

The project must be directly focused on or relate to one or more of the following technology areas:

  • alternative propulsion systems
  • electric machines and power electronics
  • energy storage and energy management
  • lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures
  • thermal propulsion systems

Research categories

We will fund industrial research projects and experimental development projects. Please see the general guidance to help you decide which category your project fits in.
7 January 2019
Competition opens
10 January 2019
Online briefing event.
6 March 2019 12:00pm
Competition closes
1 April 2019
Invite to interview
10 April 2019
Deadline for presentation slides and responses to feedback
29 April 2019
Interview panels begin
31 May 2019
Applicants notified

Before you start

Please read the general guidance for applicants. It will help your chances of submitting a quality application.

When you start an application you will be prompted to create an account as the lead applicant or sign in as a representative of your organisation. You will need an account to track the progress of your application.

As the lead applicant you will be responsible for:

  • collecting the information for your application
  • representing your organisation in leading the project if your application is successful

You will be able to invite:

  • colleagues to make contributions
  • other organisations to collaborate with you

Assessment and interview

Interview

If your application is successful at the written stage you will be invited to attend an interview, which will include giving a presentation.

Before your interview you must submit, by the deadline given in your invite email, your:

  • list of attendees
  • presentation slides
  • response to the technical assessors’ feedback, in a single PDF or Word document up to 10 A4 pages long
  • response to BEIS’ economic value assessors’ feedback, in a single PDF or Word document up to 6 A4 pages long

You cannot make changes once these are submitted.

Your 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

Up to 9 people from your project can attend the interview. Agree with your consortium who will attend, ideally one person from each organisation. Make sure they will be available on all of the published interview dates. We are unable to reschedule slots once allocated.

You must bring a mature draft of the collaboration agreement.

After you give your presentation there will be 45 minutes of questions for you. Your answers should take into account the contents of your application form and the assessor feedback from the written stage. You may then be called back in for a further 15 minute question and answer session if required.

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.

If you are invited to interview, economists from BEIS may need further information from you.

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.

What we will ask you

The application is split into 3 sections:

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

1. Project details

Explain your project. This section is not scored, but we will use it to decide whether the project fits with the scope of the competition. If it does not, it will be immediately rejected.

Application team

Invite colleagues and other organisations to collaborate on your project.

Application details

The lead applicant must complete this section. Give your project’s title, start date and duration. Is the application a resubmission?

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 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. The assessors will judge whether your application is in scope or not. Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

2. Application questions

The assessors will score your answer to each question out of 10 points. They will also give you feedback.

Do not include any URLs in your answers unless we have explicitly requested a link to a video.

You can provide supporting evidence in an appendix for each question. Make sure it is additional information not covered in the application, such as data, charts, graphs and so on. Do not put anything in more than one appendix, and do not cross reference between appendices.

The questions are split into 4 parts:

  1. Business proposition.
  2. Project details.
  3. Funding and added value.
  4. Economic assessment, including value for money.
Part 1: business proposition

Question 1. What business opportunity does this project address?

Your answer can be up to 600 words long.

Give a clear outline of the business opportunity. What does the project team need to do to address it within the proposed timeframe and cost? Describe the potential issues facing you and/or your potential customers and how the intended outputs of the project will address these.

You can upload supporting evidence for this question in a PDF named ‘Appendix 1’. It must be no larger than 10MB and can be up to 2 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 2. What is the size of the market you are targeting?

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Describe the size of the market opportunities that this project might open up. Describe:

  • the current nature of the specific markets you are targeting, for instance, is it characterised by price competition amongst commoditised suppliers or dominated by a single leading firm? Give its geographical location, and possible export value
  • the market dynamics, including its current size, and actual and predicted growth rates
  • your strategy for targeting the projected market share, with justification in light of any potential competitors

If your technology is being purchased by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) outside the consortium then give details on who the buyers will be. Submit any evidence of future purchasing commitments such as letters of support.

For highly innovative projects where the market may be unexplored, explain:

  • what the route to market could or might be
  • what the barriers to entry might be
  • what the market size might be, making clear any calculations and assumptions
  • how the project plans explore the market potential

You can upload supporting evidence in a PDF named ‘Appendix 2’. It must be no larger than 10MB and can be up to 2 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 3. How will the results of the project be exploited, in the end market and supply chain, and disseminated?

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

The highest marks will be given to projects that provide the strongest evidence on anchoring and growing the UK supply chain.

List or describe the potential outputs of the project that can be exploited, such as:

  • products or services
  • processes
  • applications

Describe how these outputs will be exploited by partners (and organisations who are not project partners) including, where applicable:

  • route to market, how your project will target commercialisation at the end
  • protection of intellectual property rights
  • how your project benefits the long term UK supply chain, during and after the project
  • reconfiguration of the value system
  • how the grant requested by the consortium members leverages additional investment in the UK supply chain, within the project partners and the wider economy, such as new facilities or machinery
  • the value of the bill of materials, its sourcing location and the percentage split across these in the UK
  • when these impacts are likely to start and how long they will last for
  • changes to business models and business processes
  • other methods of exploitation and protection

We will accept supply chains such as:

  • long term high value supply chain, supporting serial production after the R&D phase, which could include the OEM or tier 1, component suppliers and raw materials
  • service supply chain for manufacturing, which could include tooling, equipment or maintenance.
  • supply chain supporting R&D phase, which includes prototypes, low volume products, test and validation, and engineering services

Provide a supply chain or value stream map in your supporting evidence. Use this to highlight, for example:

  • potential suppliers
  • gaps in supply chain
  • processes required
  • include companies and locations where known

We accept that assumptions will be made for long term supply chains, and many of these companies will be outside of the project collaboration. You will benefit from letters of support if this project reaches its objectives.

You must include a strategy for disseminating generic outputs from the funded project.

You can upload supporting evidence for this question, including a supply chain or value stream map, in a PDF named ‘Appendix 3’. It must be no larger than 10MB and can be up to 3 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 4. What impact might this project have inside and outside the project collaboration?

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Identify, and where possible measure, the economic benefits from the project to those inside and outside the project. This could be in the form of productivity increases and import substitution. You could include benefits to customers, broader industry and the UK economy. Make a clear distinction between benefits inside and outside the project partners.

Identify, and where possible measure, any expected social and environmental impacts, either positive or negative, on for example:

  • the number of jobs safeguarded, created, changed or displaced
  • your ability to hire new employees, including where you will recruit from, how skilled the roles will be and the demand you expect for these roles
  • education, upskilling or reskilling of your employees
  • your UK-based competitors
  • carbon dioxide emissions, beyond those mandated by regulation, broken down by each piece of technology where appropriate
  • air quality improvements
  • fuel savings, and how these will work for customers
  • value-added benefits for the UK and/or the European Economic Area (EEA) and how long those benefits will last compared to the technology’s life span
  • health and safety
  • regulations
  • quality of life
  • the sourcing of materials, including a demonstration of the project’s commitment to corporate responsibility where possible
  • government priorities
  • sustainability

Where will you be located and why? Discuss the phasing of the project and of the intended manufacturing locations of the technology or technologies developed. For UK based manufacturing, justify why this would occur in the UK, and identify any expected regional impacts of the project. If you have any evidence of your intention for manufacturing in the UK, for example letters of intent, please include these in the appendix but keep them concise. If you have more letters of intent than would fit in your appendix, list them in your answer and we may ask to see them later.

Where possible reference relevant studies, reports, data or previous projects.

You can upload supporting evidence for this question, including letters of intent, in a PDF named ‘Appendix 4’. It must be no larger than 10MB and can be up to 2 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Part 2: project details

(10 points per question = 40 points in total).

Question 5. What technical approach will be adopted and how will you manage the project effectively?

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Describe:

  • the main work packages of the project, indicating the lead partner assigned to each
  • your approach to project management, identifying any major tools and mechanisms you will use to ensure a successful project outcome
  • your approach to managing the most innovative aspects of the project
  • the management reporting lines
  • your project plan in sufficient detail to identify any links or dependencies between work packages or milestones
  • how your project will enhance the manufacturing maturity of the technology
  • rival technologies and alternative R&D strategies, and how your proposal will offer a better outcome

You can upload supporting evidence for this question in a PDF named ‘Appendix 5’. It must be no larger than 10MB and can be up to 2 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 6. What is innovative about this project?

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Identify the extent to which the project is commercially and technically innovative, for example:

  • whether it pushes boundaries over and beyond current leading-edge world science and technology
  • whether it is looking to apply existing technologies in new areas
  • why and how you are confident that you have freedom to operate, and that your intellectual property is free from restriction and able to be readily exploited
  • whether your innovation addresses any of the Automotive Council’s roadmaps’ research challenges
  • whether your innovation will produce a disruptive technology and what its impact will be

Highlight and explain the timeliness and novelty of the research aspects of the project in an industrial and/or academic context.

Detail evidence that the intended work is innovative. This could include the results of patent searches, competitor analyses, literature surveys and so on. If applicable, outline your own background intellectual property rights, as related to the project.

You can upload supporting evidence for this question in a PDF named ‘Appendix 6’. It must be no larger than 10MB and can be up to 2 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 7. What are the main technical, commercial and environmental risks to project success?

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Please:

  • identify the main risks and uncertainties of the project, including the technical, commercial, managerial and environmental risks
  • highlight the most significant ones and provide a risk register
  • explain how these risks will be mitigated
  • list any project inputs on the critical route to completion, such as resources, expertise or data sets
  • explain whether the output is likely to be subject to regulatory requirements, certification, ethical or other similar issues, and if so how you will manage this

Risks can include but are not limited to:

  • funding gaps
  • investment needed for production facility
  • future sales risks
  • carbon dioxide savings
  • supply chain capacity and original equipment manufacturer purchasing
  • sustainability
  • disruptive technologies
  • reliance on a technology upscale or performance

If you are planning to carry out any manufacturing in the UK, explain why and list any risks that might stop this happening. Describe the follow on investments needed and risks associated with achieving those investments.

You can upload supporting evidence for this question, including a risk table, in a PDF named ‘Appendix 7’. It must be no larger than 10MB and can be up to 2 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 8. Does your project team have the right skills, experience and access to facilities to deliver your project?

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Describe:

  • the roles, skills, track record and relevant experience of all members of the project team in relation to the approach you will be taking
  • the resources, equipment and facilities required for the project, and how you will access them
  • any vital external parties, including sub-contractors, who you will need to work with to successfully carry out the project, explaining why these roles cannot be filled within the consortium
  • the current relationships between the project partners and how these will change as a result of the project
  • why the project partners came together and what benefits you each bring to the project

You can upload supporting evidence for this question, including details of the specific expertise and track record of each partner and subcontractor, in a PDF named ‘Appendix 8’. It must be no larger than 10MB and can be up to 2 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Part 3: funding and added value

(10 points per question = 20 points in total).

Question 9. What is the financial commitment required for the project?

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

What is the anticipated project cost? Describe the level of contribution from any project participants and the level of grant funding required. Also give this information in the financial summary table in the application form.

Give supporting information and an explanation for project costs. It must be consistent with the category of research and development undertaken within each work package.

If the project spans more than one type of funding, for example, because significant work packages are in both fundamental and industrial research, you must describe and justify the breakdown of costs between them. For example:

  • is the budget realistic for the scale and complexity of the project?
  • does the required financial support from APC fit within the limits set by the specific competition?
  • have you demonstrated a financial commitment from other sources for the balance of the project costs?
  • has a realistic budget breakdown been provided?
  • have any work package breakdowns been described and justified adequately?

Detail the total investment needed to bring the technology to production. Distinguish between the APC funded project and the overall investment. What is the proposed investment in R&D, skills, capital and training?

List and assign a proportion for the source of private sector investment by:

  • retained earnings
  • external debt
  • equity investment or
  • other source

Where the source is retained earnings, describe the decision making process in allocating this R&D spending. Is the R&D spending internationally competitive and/or found from UK company budgets?

List any other public funds, including any tax relief, that the consortium has applied for, or received, that relate to this project or application. Indicate the size of the funding, the relevant body, and details of the type of funding and conditions.

Describe and clearly quantify the return on investment that the project could achieve. Provide relevant source data references.

You can upload supporting evidence for this question in a PDF named ‘Appendix 9’. It must be no larger than 10MB and can be up to 2 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 10. How does financial support from APC and its funding collaborators add value?

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Describe or explain:

  • why this project cannot be funded internally or through other private sources, giving supporting evidence in the appendix of funding sources which were considered, including evidence of the outcome of these, for example proof of declined credit
  • the total project cost and the funding being requested in terms of the project goals
  • why this specific level of funding is required, giving supporting evidence in the appendix to this question, such as business cases, internal rate of return analysis or other comparison analysis of with or without APC funding
  • what will happen if the application is not successful (project scaled back, delayed, moved abroad or cancelled) and why? Provide supporting evidence in the appendix such as business cases, internal memos showing decision making processes, cost comparisons for alternative locations, or other comparison analysis of with or without APC funding
  • how APC funding would allow you to undertake the project differently (sooner, more quickly on a larger scale) and why this is beneficial to the UK
  • how the partners will finance their contributions to the project and other sources of funding already considered
  • whether there will be R&D investment or spend as a result of this funding
  • how successful delivery will increase total spend on R&D in the UK
  • the collaboration benefits of the project including proximity, multiple sectors and work with other research organisations
  • impact on the supply chain

If the project could not go ahead in the UK without APC funding, where would it be located and why?

Include information on:

  • the current type and size of operations in these locations
  • the expected size and growth of the local or regional market
  • expected cost structure, including wages, building, transport, energy
  • any existing infrastructure or financial support available
  • the quality and availability of an equivalent workforce and science and research base in these alternative locations
  • the potential to create value-added benefits for the UK and/or the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • how long the value added benefits will continue for in terms of the technology’s life span

You may be asked for additional financial information relating to your bid or consortium members. This requirement will vary depending on the nature of the application and your specific argument for support. BEIS will decide whether to seek additional financial information and APC will communicate this to you.

You can upload supporting evidence for this question in a PDF named ‘Appendix 10’. It must be no larger than 10MB and can be up to 2 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Part 4: economic assessment including value for money

Questions 11 to 16

Questions 11 to 16 of the application relate to the economic assessment and value for money. To answer these questions:

  • download the value for money (VfM) worksheet from question 11
  • complete tabs 11 to 16, following the guidance in the worksheet
  • enter data into the grey cells, and select an option from a drop-down list in the brown cells
  • 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 NVQ levels
  • use blank lines to title project partners and group the jobs according to your preferences
  • use each question’s notes section to demonstrate how your numbers have been derived
  • upload the completed worksheet as an appendix to question 11
  • complete questions 11 to 16 in the online application by giving any supporting information from the VfM worksheet, or write “Not applicable” if you have nothing to add
  • you can upload supporting diagrams, pictures or graphics in a PDF appendix, up to 10MB in size, at question 16, clearly stating in its file name which question it is for

The worksheet is protected so data cannot be entered into incorrect cells. Yellow cells are titles and cannot be changed.

We define value for money, or cost benefit ratio, as the net economic benefit to the UK compared to the cost to the exchequer.

The net economic benefit to the UK consists of:

1. R&D and innovation.2. Employment:

  • newly created jobs
  • safeguarded jobs
  • indirect supply chain jobs

3. Wider benefits:

  • carbon dioxide savings
  • benefits to UK consumers, such as increased fuel savings

The value for money assessment does not include increased profits for consortium members.

We may not count benefits based on:

1. Additionality: to what extent would these benefits occur without government support? If you have not already included it in your response to question 10, provide supporting evidence in the appendix, such as business cases, internal memos showing decision making processes, cost comparisons for alternative locations, or other comparison analysis of with or without APC funding. The latter may include how APC funding would allow you to undertake the project differently (sooner, faster or on a larger scale) that would not occur otherwise.

2. Risk: what is the risk of the project not achieving the stated economic benefits? This depends on the:

  • complexity of the project and consortium
  • investment required
  • risk management strategy
  • technology itself

If you do not upload the completed spreadsheet your application will be ineligible.

3. Finances

Each organisation in your project must complete their own project costs, organisational details and funding details. Academics will need to complete and upload a Je-S form. For full details on what costs you can claim please see our project costs guidance.

Background and further information

Formed in 2013 the Advanced Propulsion Centre is a 10 year partnership between industry and government that will invest £1 billion to accelerate the development of low carbon propulsion technologies in the UK.

The government has committed £500 million to part fund projects over the 10 year period which is matched by industry funding for a variety of R&D activity. The 10 year timeframe provides a platform for long term investment and growth and will build UK capability through the research, development and industrialisation of these emerging technologies.

There is an opportunity for the UK in this emerging market and this funding partnership is an important part of the Industrial Strategy.

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

APC will:

  1. Work with consortia to support bid development.
  2. Support the competition process, including hosting both launch and guidance events and interviews.
  3. Act as advocates for consortia to improve future competitions.
  4. Support project delivery once contracts are awarded, through APC staff.
  5. 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.
  6. Monitor the impact of the project portfolio.

Innovate UK will:

  1. Deliver the competition process and technical assessment framework.
  2. Support and manage applicant queries about the competition process.
  3. Issue and manage grant contracts.
  4. Provide formal assurance that projects are meeting their commitments once they are running (known as project monitoring).
  5. Approve financial claims and issue funds.

BEIS will:

  1. Assess the benefit that the proposed project will deliver to the UK economy, through value for money assessment. If that benefit meets an acceptable level and all other assessment criteria are met, BEIS will make a recommendation to ministers to support funding.
  2. Formally monitor delivery of economic outputs on an annual basis and after delivery of the project.

APC is able to help by:

  1. Providing general guidance regarding interpretation of competition rules and guidelines on an informal basis.
  2. Helping your consortium to structure the bid development process.
  3. Explaining common pitfalls.
  4. Answering questions regarding whether or not your project is within scope.

APC competitions are delivered by a partnership of the Advanced Propulsion Centre, Innovate UK (part of UK Research and Innovation) and BEIS.

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.

Note that the APC role is to provide indicative guidance rather than formal advice.

Contact APC at info@apcuk.co.uk or call +44 (0)24 7652 8700.

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