Grant information

open now    Opened: 23 May 2022   |   Closes: 20 July 2022


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) to invest up to £41.5 million in innovation projects across two competition strands.

The aim of this competition is to support the CCAV ambition to progress technologies, products and services into commercial offerings.

This competition is split into 2 strands.

In strand 2 of the competition, your proposal must identify applications and quantify the real-life potential of Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) as a mass transit solution.

Innovate UK has allocated up to £1.5 million to fund feasibility study projects in this strand.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are entering the appropriate strand of the competition for your project.

You will not be able to transfer your application and it will not be sent for assessment if it is out of scope.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11:00am UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding Type


Project size

Your project’s total grant funding request must be between £50,000 and £200,000.

Who can apply

Your project

Your project must:

  • start by 1 January 2023
  • end by 30 November 2023
  • carry out all project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • work with Department for Transport (DfT) and the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) to ensure compatibility with regulatory requirements

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 total project’s grant funding request or duration falls outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to at least 15 working days before the competition closes. Innovate UK 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 will not be sent for assessment.

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

Project team

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

Your project must include as a lead or grant claiming partner a:

  • local or regional authority or a local or regional transport authority
  • Connected & Automated Mobility (CAM) technology provider or an infrastructure provider

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 login 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. Innovate UK will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and not exceed 30% of the total project costs.

Number of applications

A business, research organisation or RTO can only lead on one application in this strand and where eligible, up to 2 applications across the whole competition. If leading it can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications. This is across the two strands of the competition.

A business, research organisation, RTO, charity, not for profit or public sector organisation not leading an application, can collaborate in any number of applications across the two strands of the competition.

Previous Application

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

Innovate UK will not award you funding if you have:

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 of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Innovate UK is unable to award organisations that are considered to be in financial difficulty. Innovate UK 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.

Further Information

If you are unsure about your obligations under the UK Subsidy Control regime or the State aid rules, you should take independent legal advice. Innovate UK is unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.

You must at all times 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.

If there are any changes to the above requirements that means Innovate UK needs to change the terms of this competition, Innovate UK will tell you as soon as possible.


Up to £41.5 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects across the two strands of the competition. Innovate UK has allocated up to £1.5million to fund innovation projects in this strand 2. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

You should apply for the minimum amount of funding required to make your project viable.

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 feasibility study 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 more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under State aid.

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 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 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


Your proposal

The aim of this competition is to target early commercial self-driving vehicle opportunities, and support the UK supply chain to grow and fill technology gaps necessary for their deployment.

Where appropriate, your project must align with the nine principles of the Future of Mobility Urban Strategy.

In this strand: Commercialising Connected & Automated Mobility: Mass transit, CCAV is seeking proposals where Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) could deliver a significantly more cost effective, and low carbon solution than traditional public transport options.

Your project must identify a new application for CAM as a mass transit solution on a segregated route and quantify the real-life potential of a suitable solution.

Your proposed automated vehicle services must be on physically segregated infrastructure: routes that are not open to public access: for vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users. This can include for example, tracks, disused railway routes.

Your proposal must:

  • consider the utilisation of new CAM technologies for innovative mass transit services on segregated infrastructure, including both new and disused infrastructure, or infrastructure that would otherwise require a significant upgrade
  • propose the design, delivery, and operational cases for the introduction of a service on a specific, UK route currently underserved by public transport, including how it could be practically delivered and operated as part of an integrated public transport network.
  • solve real-life transport problems and focus on areas and routes in the UK that are currently underserved by public transport, particularly areas where traditional rail services are not deemed viable
  • set out why an automated vehicle service would provide better outcomes than traditional mass transit modes, for example, heavy and light rail, tram and bus, including guided busways
  • consider how a service could be improved or expanded in the future, for example, as technology develops and legislation enables the use of automated vehicles on public roads

Your project must submit:

  • an interim report by 1 May 2023
  • a final report by 30 November 2023

Innovate UK will fund a variety of projects across the competition strands, themes, different applications, geographies and operational design domains. Innovate UK calls this a portfolio approach.

Terminology in your application must comply with the meanings as per BSI Flex 1890 v4.0:2022-03: Connected and automated vehicles - Vocabulary

Successful projects must support and engage with the Impact and Evaluation framework..

Specific themes

Your project must consider all the following themes:

  • economic, social, and decarbonisation benefits, considering the Green Book
  • capital expenditure and operational expenditure
  • infrastructure and service delivery plan and timelines
  • commercial viability and revenue protection
  • passenger capacity and scalability of service
  • encouraging the use of public transport
  • integration into existing public transport networks, including active travel, with consideration of connected infrastructure, on demand and Mobility as a Service technologies
  • connecting underserved routes, locations, or populations to employment centres, education opportunities and larger population centres
  • ensuring safety and security, including cyber security
  • use of UK-based automation and infrastructure technologies and expertise
  • ensuring public trust in the service
  • ensuring accessibility and inclusivity of the service

Your project can consider the use of CAM:

  • on new infrastructure
  • on disused infrastructure or infrastructure that otherwise requires costly upgrades, for example rail lines
  • in rural, semi-rural or urban environments

You must ensure that your project will consider all legal requirements in your chosen deployment areas. It is your responsibility to take legal advice in this matter.

Research categories

Innovate UK will fund feasibility studies only, as defined in the guidance on categories of research.

Projects that will not be funded

Innovate UK is not funding projects that:

  • are industrial research or experimental development projects
  • rely on the use of automated vehicles on public roads
  • propose the use of automated vehicle technology on rail vehicles
  • include aircraft or waterborne craft
  • are dependent on export performance
  • are dependent on domestic inputs usage


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