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Funding competition Connected and autonomous vehicles 3: feasibility studies

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £2 million to research and develop new connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.

This competition is now closed.

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Summary

Description

The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) is to invest up to £2 million in industry-led research and development projects on connected and autonomous vehicles.

This competition will fund feasibility studies. We expect projects to have costs of up to £250,000 and last between 12 and 18 months.

Projects need to come up with technical solutions for connected and autonomous vehicle features that provide real-world benefits to users. This includes how these vehicles will work as part of a wider transport or off-road system, and the business models that will enable them. We are seeking proposals where the commercial benefit is clear.

Projects focused on autonomy, or connectivity that supports autonomy, must focus on the development of solutions for SAE level 4 automation and above.

All projects must be collaborative, business-led, and with the research and development (R&D) conducted in the UK.

There is 1 similar competition being run in conjunction with this one: Research and development projects. Projects in this area should last 18 to 30 months and have total costs of £500,000 to £4 million.

Funding type

Grant

Project size

We expect projects to have total costs of up to £250,000.

Eligibility

Find out if you are eligible to apply

To lead a project you must:

  • be a UK-based business
  • be a business of any size
  • carry out your project in the UK
  • work in collaboration with others (businesses, research base and third sector)

For all research organisations, the total level of project participation is set at a maximum of 50% of total eligible costs for feasibility studies (projects below £250,000 total costs).

If your consortium contains more than one research organisation, this maximum will be shared between them.

Projects that we won't fund

In this competition we are not funding projects covering other modes of transport outside the automotive space. Although this means non-automotive applications (for example, rail or marine) are out of scope, how CAVs interact with the wider transport system is in scope.

Costs for the supporting systems required to enable vehicle technology are eligible. Projects where infrastructure or supporting systems are the primary cost, are not in scope.

Funding and project details

We have allocated up to £2 million to fund innovation projects in this competition.

Projects should focus on one or both of the following areas:

  • connectivity
  • autonomy (SAE level 4 and above)

This competition focuses on collaborative feasibility studies. We expect projects to last 12 to 18 months. Total project costs can be up to £250,000.

A further connected and autonomous vehicles competition focuses on research and development. This will have different project costs and duration.

Project types

For feasibility studies you could get:

  • up to 70% of your eligible project costs if you are a small business
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 50% if you are a large business

Find out if your business fits the EU definition of an SME.

Scope

Competition scope

Collaborative feasibility study

Projects should apply innovative thinking to real-world problems. At the end, projects should be ready to continue into future collaborative R&D competitions. Or they should be able to raise private sector investment to take the technology to market.

Projects must:

  • focus on on-highway vehicles or PODs (L, M or N category vehicles), or off highway vehicles
  • support the development of solutions for SAE level 4 automation and above, if focused on delivering autonomy (either directly or supporting autonomy through connectivity)
  • include a final report and a dissemination plan
  • support the principle of shared learning with other projects. This will include involvement in workshops, organised every 6 months by Innovate UK and CCAV

Specific competition themes

This is an open collaborative R&D competition, based on the parameters stated above.

Dates

25 July 2017
Competition opens
23 August 2017
Recording of the London briefing event .
25 October 2017 12:00pm
Competition closes
5 February 2018 2:43pm
Applicants notified

How to apply

Before you start

To start an application you must create an account as the lead applicant, or sign in as a representative of your organisation. Once you have an account you can track the progress of your application.

As a lead applicant:

  • you are responsible for collecting the information for your funding application
  • you can invite other organisations who will participate in the project as collaborators if your application is successful
  • you can invite colleagues to contribute to the application
  • your organisation will lead the project if your application is successful

Partner organisations can be other businesses, research organisations, public sector organisations or charities.

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

Research organisations

Research organisations may participate in applications as collaborators.

There are specific rules for research partners which limit the amount of involvement a research organisation may have in your project. The participation rule will be set out in the eligibility criteria for the competition.

You will not be able to submit your application if your research participation is over the stated percentage for the competition.

What we ask you

The application is split into 3 sections:

1. Project details

2. Application questions

3. Finances

1. Project details

In this section you will provide the details of your project. This section is not scored, but our assessors will use it to decide whether the project fits with the scope of the competition. If it doesn’t fit the scope then it will be immediately rejected. Within project details you will need to complete:

Application details

The title of your project, the start date and project length. This section will also list you as the lead organisation and any partner organisations you have named as collaborators. The lead applicant must complete this section.

Project summary

Describe your project and what is innovative about it. We use this section to assign experts to assess your application so we need a summary of the innovation in your project.

Public description

Describe your project in a way that you are happy to see published. Please do not include any commercially sensitive information. If your project is successful and awarded funding, Innovate UK will publish this description.

Project 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. Innovate UK will provide feedback if we decide that your project is not in scope.

2. Application questions

In this section, answers to these questions are scored by the assessors. Following assessment, you will receive feedback from the assessors for each question.

Question 1: Need or challenge

What is the business need, citizen challenge, technological challenge or market opportunity behind your innovation?

  • describe the main motivation for the project; the business need, the citizen-centric challenge (for urban living proposals), technological challenge or market opportunity
  • describe the nearest current state-of-the-art (including those near-market or in development) and its limitations
  • describe any work you have already done to respond to this need. For example, is the project focused on developing an existing capability or building a new one?
  • identify the wider economic, social, environmental, cultural and/or political challenges which are influential in creating the opportunity for example, incoming regulations. Our Horizons tool can help here.

Question 2: Approach and innovation

What approach will you take and where will the focus of the innovation be?

  • explain how you propose to respond to the need, challenge or opportunity identified
  • explain how it will improve on the nearest current state-of-the-art identified
  • indicate where the focus of the innovation will be in the project (application of existing technologies in new areas, development of new technologies for existing areas or a totally disruptive approach) and the freedom you have to operate
  • explain how this project fits with your current product/service lines/offerings
  • explain how it will make you more competitive
  • describe the nature of the outputs you expect from the project for example, report, demonstrator, know-how, new process, product or service design. How will these will take you closer to targeting the need, challenge or opportunity identified?

You may submit a single appendix as a PDF no more than 1MB in size to support your answer.

Question 3: Team and resources

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

  • describe the roles, skills and relevant experience of all members of the project team in relation to the approach you will be taking
  • describe the resources, equipment and facilities required for the project and how you will access them
  • provide details of any vital external parties, including sub-contractors, who you will need to work with to successfully carry out the project
  • (if collaborative) describe the current relationships between the project partners and how these will change as a result of the project
  • highlight any gaps in the team that will need to be filled

You may submit a single appendix as a PDF no more than 1MB in size to support your answer.

Question 4: Market awareness

What does the market you are targeting look like?

Specify the markets (domestic and/or international) you will be targeting in the project and any other potential markets.

For the target markets, describe:

  • the size of the target markets for the project outcomes, backed up by appropriate references where available
  • the structure and dynamics of the market such as customer segmentation, together with predicted growth rates within clear timeframes
  • the main supply/value chains and business models in operation and any barriers to entry
  • the current UK position in targeting this market

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

  • what the route to market could or might be
  • what its size might be
  • how the project will seek to explore the market potential

For other markets, briefly describe the size and main features.

Question 5: Outcomes and route to market

How do you propose to grow your business and increase your productivity into the long term as a result of the project?

  • describe your current position in the markets and supply/value chains outlined for example, if you will be extending or establishing your market position
  • describe your target customers and/or end-users, and the value proposition to them (why would they use/buy it?)
  • describe your route to market
  • tell us how you are going to profit from the innovation (increased revenues or cost reduction)
  • explain how the innovation will impact your productivity and growth in the short and long-term
  • describe how you will protect and exploit the outputs of the project for example, through know-how, patenting, designs, changes to business model
  • outline your strategy for targeting the other markets identified during or after the project
  • for any research organisation activity in the project, outline your plans to disseminate project research outputs over a reasonable timescale
  • if you expect to use the results generated from the project in further research activities, describe how you will do this

Question 6: Wider impacts

What impact might this project have outside the project team?

Identify, and where possible measure, the economic benefits from the project to those outside the project (customers, others in the supply chain, broader industry and the UK economy) such as productivity increases and import substitution.

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

  • quality of life
  • social inclusion/exclusion
  • jobs (safeguarded, created, changed, displaced)
  • education
  • public empowerment
  • health and safety
  • regulations
  • diversity
  • any expected impact on government priorities

Identify, and where possible measure, any expected environmental impacts, either positive or negative.

Identify any expected regional impacts of the project.

Question 7: Project management

How will you manage the project effectively?

  • outline the main work packages of the project, indicating the relevant research category and lead partner assigned to each, and the total cost of each one
  • describe your approach to project management, identifying any major tools and mechanisms that will be used to ensure a successful project outcome. Highlight your approach to managing the most innovative aspects of the project
  • outline the management reporting lines
  • outline your project plan in sufficient detail to identify any links or dependencies between work packages or milestones

You may upload a project plan or Gantt chart as an appendix in PDF format no more than 1MB in size.

Question 8: Risks

What are the main risks for this project?

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

You may upload a risk register as an appendix in PDF format no more than 1MB in size.

Question 9: Additionality

Describe the impact that an injection of public funding would have on this project.

  • tell us if this project could go ahead in any form without public funding and if so, the difference the public funding would make such as faster to market, more partners, reduced risk
  • describe the likely impact of the project on the business of the partners involved
  • tell us why you are not able to wholly fund the project from your own resources or other forms of private-sector funding (what would happen if the application is unsuccessful)
  • explain how this project would change the nature of research and development activity the partners would undertake, and related spend

Question 10: Costs and value for money

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

  • justify the total project cost and the grant being requested in terms of the project goals
  • explain how the partners will finance their contributions to the project
  • explain how this project represents value for money for you and the taxpayer. How does it compare to what you would spend your money on otherwise?
  • justify the balance of costs and grant across the project partners
  • justify any sub-contractor costs and why they are critical to the project

3. Finances

The finances section asks each organisation to complete project costs, organisational details and funding details for each organisation in your project. 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.

In the project growth table please enter zero in all the columns. This information is not necessary at this stage.

Supporting information

Background and further information

CCAV is a joint policy unit set up by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Transport. It was established to help ensure that the UK is a world leader in developing and testing connected and autonomous vehicles. It aims to achieve this in part through £100 million of funding (match-funded by industry). This is to support industry-led research and development over 5 years.

If you want help to find a project partner, contact the Knowledge Transfer Network.

If you need more information, contact the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357 or email us at support@innovateuk.gov.uk.

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