The current Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) competition – which is inviting bids to access up to £100 million of funding for projects that deliver significant reductions in vehicle CO2 or other emissions – must be collaborative and business-led, and include a vehicle manufacturer or a tier 1 supplier and an SME partner. So why is there a requirement for such competitions to be collaborative?
At various conferences over recent years, industry experts have regularly pointed to the fact that the increasing success of the UK car industry has been hand-in-hand with closer working between the industry and government, as well as with increasing collaboration between different partners. Early-stage innovation can be too high risk for many small and medium-sized businesses to undertake without support, hence the benefits of OEMs and suppliers working together with funding assistance.
Many such successful collaborations to develop technology have previously come about through the Technology Strategy Board, now known as Innovate UK. Examples of such projects were on show over two years ago at the Cenex LCV2012 event, in the form of the Lotus Evora 414E, the Infiniti EMERG-E, and the Jaguar XJ-e plug-in hybrid – all three vehicles were developed as part of a Technology Strategy Board project called REEVolution. The projects brought together different organisations to work together in collaboration – in this case Axeon Technologies, EVO Electric, Xtrac, Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus and Nissan, to work on next-generation components for plug-in vehicles.
Historically the likelihood of rival car companies working together in such a way was unheard of, but this collaborative approach has been seen as a huge success by all those involved in such projects.
Now that the Advanced Propulsion Centre has been established, there are four collaborative projects currently active and being supported by the APC following the organisation’s first open competition, as follows:
If you have a concept for low carbon propulsion technology but don’t currently have a partner, then speak to the APC, as we may be able to put you in touch with potential collaborators.
For more information about the £100 million of new funding available through the ‘Developing new automotive propulsion technologies’ competition visit www.apcuk.co.uk/competitions/developing-new-automotive-propulsion-technologies
Find out more about the Advanced Propulsion Centre at www.apcuk.co.uk.