open now Opened: 18 July 2022 | Closes: 07 September 2022
The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) provides funding, support and insight for the development of low carbon and net zero automotive technologies. It aims to support the UK’s transition towards net zero product manufacturing and supply chain in the UK automotive sector.
In this competition round APC is investing up to £40 million.
APC is looking for collaborative, pre-production research and development (R&D) projects that:
- support the UK’s long term capabilities by securing long-term R&D investment
- achieve through the associated supply chain, the design, build and manufacture of net zero carbon emission vehicles
Projects must look to fulfil both these criteria to ensure the UK meets the future demand of vehicle makers.
In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.
Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £5 million and £40 million. Your project must be a minimum of 50% match-funded, with a suggested maximum number of six partners.
Who can apply
Your project must:
- have total costs between £5 million and £40 million
- be a minimum of 50% match-funded
- start by 1 March 2023
- last between 18 and 42 months
- carry out its project work in the UK
- intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
You must only include eligible project costs in your application.
Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian source.
If your project’s total eligible costs or duration falls outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 10 working days before the competition closes. APC will decide whether to approve your request.
If you have not requested approval or your application has not been approved by us, you will be made ineligible and your application will not be sent for assessment.
To lead a project your organisation must:
- be a UK registered business of any size
- have an active registered business base in the UK
- be a grant recipient
- involve at least one grant claiming micro small or medium enterprise (SME) if the lead is not one
- include in your consortium a vehicle manufacturer or Tier 1 supplier who supplies parts directly to an original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
- collaborate with others
To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:
- business of any size
- academic institution
- 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
- provide evidence of an intention to expand their R&D activity in the UK during and after the project
Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to log in or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.
The lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding by entering their costs during the application.
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. APC 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
You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.
APC will not award you funding if you have:
- failed to exploit a previously funded project
- an overdue independent accountant’s report
- failed to comply with grant terms and conditions
- have overdue payments to APC
Subsidy Control (and state aid where applicable)
This competition provides funding in line with the UK's obligations and commitments to Subsidy Control. Further information about the UK Subsidy Control requirements can be found within the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement and the subsequent guidance from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Innovate UK is unable to award organisations that are considered to be in financial difficulty. APC will conduct financial viability and eligibility tests to confirm this is not the case following the application stage.
EU State aid rules now only apply in limited circumstances. Please see our general guidance to check if these rules apply to your organisation.
If you are unsure about your obligations under the UK Subsidy Control regime or the State Aid rules, you should take independent legal advice. APC is unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.
You must make sure at all times that the funding awarded to you is compliant with all current Subsidy Control legislation applicable in the United Kingdom.
This aims to regulate any advantage granted by a public sector body which threatens to, or actually distorts competition in the United Kingdom or any other country or countries.
If there are any changes to the above requirements that means APC needs to change the terms of this competition, they will tell you as soon as possible.
The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) invests up to £75 million per annum, in collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects. These are pre-production projects and applicants should apply for the minimum amount of APC funding required to make the project viable. This can be up to 50% of total project costs. In this round APC is investing £40 million.
A minimum of 70% of your projects total project costs must be incurred by commercial organisations.
The total grant request in your application cannot exceed 50% of the total project costs. This is regardless of the individual partners’ grant claims.
Of that 50% if the majority of 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.
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
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.
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.