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SME Support

Getting your Low Carbon Propulsion technology application ready

The Technology Developer Accelerator Programme (TDAP) pilot was created by the APC to support companies (technology developers) with low carbon propulsion technology that can be applied to the automotive sector.

The technology will probably be at an early stage of development and the company may not be sure how to move forward with elements such as understanding the viability of the technology, business planning and validating the product or testing.

Practical support includes expert advice from specialists who will work alongside the company as it develops the technology ready for market as well as a grant to support the process.

The TDAP can also be used by companies with appropriate low carbon propulsion technology that is currently being used in other sectors (eg marine, aerospace, etc) that can be applied to the automotive sector but are unsure how to approach this sector.

To see the current TDAP projects and how they are getting on, you can view our case study videos here.

The APC contact for questions relating to SME Support is Gareth Deakin who can be contacted via gareth.deakin@apcuk.co.uk or 02476 528718.

Status: Applications closed – first projects now active.
Key features: Grant funded pilot programme aimed at small and medium sized technology developers to help take your low carbon technology to MRL 4 and TRL 5 application readiness.
Programme: SME support pilot programme
Award: Degree of match funding and access to technical and industrial support
Application deadline: The first (pilot) TDAP programme applications closed on Friday 31st October 2014
Support Phone number: 02476 528718
Summary

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) Technology Developer Accelerator Programme (TDAP) is a pilot programme aimed at small and medium sized technology developers (TDs). Its intent is to provide TDs support to identify routes to market, accelerating technology development cycles and prepare them to be commercially viable in a shortened time scale. If this pilot programme is successful and stakeholders agree, then APC expects to plan a similar ongoing programme.

APC’s delivery partner for this pilot programme is Productiv Limited who utilise elements of the Core Technology Development phases of an automotive Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) New Products Introduction (NPI) Programme to deliver the pilot.

The Technology Developer Accelerator Programme pilot takes TDs through a three-stage process that will prepare the TD for engagement in automotive OEM and Tier 1 development programmes, including those funded by APC and Innovate UK.

Successful applicants are receiving technical and industry specialist support to guide them through a three-stage process. Those completing all three-stages,will exit having achieved a Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) 4 and a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5.

More information on the Technology Readiness Levels can be accessed from the Automotive Council website.

The programme permits matched funding to be provided through the APC and the expert support from our delivery partner.

Background

The Advanced Propulsion Centre was formed in 2013 from a commitment between the government and automotive industry through the Automotive Council to position the UK as a global centre of excellence for low carbon powertrain development and production. It is a central pillar of the Industrial Strategy created by the Automotive Council.

Helping to bring tomorrow’s technology to market.

The Advanced Propulsion Centre UK Limited (APC) is a private limited company, an industry wide collaboration of innovators and producers of low carbon propulsion systems. It facilitates partnerships between those who have good ideas and those who can bring them to market. The services provided by the APC enable projects, which provide profitable growth and sustainable opportunities for the partners involved.

The scope of projects covered by the APC includes four of the five strategic technologies identified by the Automotive Council and presented at the Low Carbon Vehicle Event at Millbrook in September 2013:

Strategic Technologies APC

  • Electric Machines and Power Electronics
  • Energy Storage and Energy Management
  • Internal Combustion Engines
  • Lightweight Vehicle and Powertrain Structures

The fifth strategic technology; Intelligent Mobility falls within the remit of the Transport Systems Catapult.

Scope

The pilot programme targeted technology developers who have a low carbon technology or innovation that they wish to identify routes to market, accelerating technology development cycles and prepare them to be commercially viable in a shortened time scale for the low carbon automotive sector.

Technology developers can come from outside the automotive sector but they must be based in the UK and their technology must be suitable for the low carbon automotive sector. The pilot is aimed at small and medium sized businesses but larger organisations could apply.

As this is a pilot programme, a limited number of places were available and were treated on a ‘first come first serve’ basis. Companies short listed but not selected, will be invited to re-apply for potential future programmes as soon as they are announced.

As the pilot programme progresses, an assessment panel will review progress and at each stage and will decide if the technology has developed sufficiently to progress to the next stage.

Funding allocation and projects details

Successful applicants are receiving grant funding from APC UK and specialist technical and industrial expert advice from our delivery partner, Productiv for each stage of the pilot programme.

Stage 0: Application
This stage will review the applications and those selected will progress through to Stage 1 if successful.

Gateway to Stage 1.

Stage 1: Concept Study
This stage will be to fully understand the technology and innovation that is being developed and assess its viability.

Up to 30 days of specialist support from our delivery partner.

Grant to fund 70% of TD labour costs to a maximum of £3,500.

Gateway to Stage 2.

Stage 2: Business Planning
This stage will set out the future business plan and review the readiness levels and development plans of the technology.

Up to 100 days of specialist support from our delivery partner.

Grant to fund 50% of TD labour costs to a maximum of £10,000.

Gateway to Stage 3.

Stage 3: Characterisation
This stage will provide manufacturing readiness development and preparation for validation and product testing.

Up to 300 days of specialist support from our delivery partner.

Grant to fund 50% of TD labour costs to a maximum of £35,000.

Gateway to completion.

Each stage will be reviewed and if successful, you will proceed to the next stage.

Who can apply?

The pilot programme was open to all businesses that met the scope outlined above. However, we particularly encouraged small and medium sized technology developers who could appreciate the support and advice on how to proceed beyond the initial technology idea stage and wanted to understand how to access OEM and Tier 1 suppliers and achieve a Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) 4 and a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5.

Find out more if your business fits the EU definition of an SME by clicking here.

Application process

The deadline for applications was Friday 31st October 2014 at noon and so applications for the pilot programme have CLOSED.

Applications were assessed on their individual merit by a review panel of experts.

Respecting your intellectual property we have, as part of the application from, a Confidentiality Agreement was appended to each application. We also undertook financial and commercial due-diligence as part of the application stage.

To qualify

  • You needed to be a small and medium sized business or larger located in the UK

Small and medium-sized and larger businesses from all sectors across the UK could qualify.

  • Your technology or innovation must be a low carbon propulsion solution and applicable to the Low Carbon Propulsion Automotive sector.
  • You must be willing to commit to all three-stages of the pilot programme and have sufficient resources to match the grant funding levels.
Key dates
  • Application deadline: noon 31st October 2014 CLOSED
  • Projects started: 1st December 2014
More information

Should you wish to discuss this pilot programme with a view to future application please call Gareth on 02476 528718 or email: gareth.deakin@apcuk.co.uk