We have previously reported on a number of funding competitions by Innovate UK, including one for a share of up to £20 million for Covid-19 related innovations and another for up to £800,000 for sustainable plastic solutions.
This week, Innovate UK – together with the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and the Department for International Trade (DIT) – opened a new funding competition of much larger scale: The Automotive Transformation Fund.
This funding competition can be seen as part of the UK government’s broader Road to Zero Strategy which seeks to reduce vehicle emissions to zero by 2050, and, perhaps more ambitiously, aims for at least half of new cars to be “ultra-low emission” by 2030.
The Automotive Transformation Fund is aimed at establishing “a competitive and sustainable UK supply chain” for the design, build, manufacture and recycling of zero-emission vehicles. Closing on 5 August 2020, the competition “offers a share of up to £1 billion of funding for industrial research and capital projects.” In particular, the target is to support the industrialisation of a high-value, electrified automotive supply at scale in the UK.
While the new funding competition is limited to projects with a potential automotive application, the scope is fairly broad. Scaling-up in areas such as batteries, motors and drives, power electronics, and fuel cells (and recycling of any of these) appears to be of particular interest, but the competition is not limited to these areas. However, no funding is available for projects in low-carbon fuels, vehicle assembly, or charging infrastructure.
The competition does have some eligibility criteria for businesses to consider before applying. Companies must be UK registered businesses which carry out the project work in the UK. They must also intend to exploit the results from or in the UK, which is in line with the competition’s aim of establishing a UK supply chain.
Successful applicants can claim up to 50% of the total eligible project costs, depending on the size of the organisations involved. For further details on this funding competition, please click here.
The Automotive Transformation Fund can also provide a share of up to £10 million for feasibility studies to support industrialisation of the UK’s high-value electrified automotive supply chain if they fulfill at least one of the following: de-risk scaling up innovative technologies across the electric supply chain; remove the technical or commercial barriers to manufacture in the UK; and support the overall aim of the Automotive Transformation Fund to establish a competitive and sustainable UK supply chain.
If you are involved with an innovative automotive research and development project, and would like to find out how protecting your innovations can add value to your business, please do get in touch with us.
This article is for general information only. Its content is not a statement of the law on any subject and does not constitute advice. Please contact Reddie & Grose LLP for advice before taking any action in reliance on it.