Is 2022 the year to recognise your net-zero ambitions?

As 2021 draws to a close we can look back over the last 12-months with a sense of significant achievement. Decarbonising transport and accelerating net-zero innovation was high on the global agenda, with big picture discussions at the Climate Change Summit hosted by President Biden in April, the G7 in June and, of course, COP26 in November. 

At the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) we know that whilst strong political commitments are vital to achieving global net-zero ambitions, there is also real power in starting small. Our Technology Developer Accelerator Programme (TDAP) is now open for its sixth wave, offering micro, small and medium-sized enterprises the opportunity to receive up to £135,000 in grant support to develop an idea into the next generation of zero emission innovation.  

Established in 2017, TDAP helps organisations to transform good ideas into market viable technologies through an 18-month phased programme designed to set ambitious start-ups and SMEs up for commercial success. Here we lay out our top tips for a successful TDAP application and hopefully a path to commercial success for your business. 

Get a second pair of eyes

Making a compelling case for your concept means getting the detail right. Imagine you are the assessor: what would you need and want to know? We don’t expect you to have a concrete plan for your technology – that’s what TDAP is for, after all – but you should have a sense of how it would work, how it could be used, and what sets it apart. We always suggest you ask a non-expert to review your application, to make the quality of your concept shine through. 

Show and tell

Drawings and schematics can bring an idea to life, helping us to better visualise your concept. Protecting your intellectual property is a central tenet of the programme, and that begins well before you secure your place; we treat everything in your application as confidential, and don’t expect you to map out all your secrets. Consider ways to present the richest depiction of your design without detailing the more commercially sensitive elements. 

Set your sights on zero-emissions

The APC exists to accelerate the automotive industry’s transition towards net-zero vehicles, products and processes. Your application should demonstrate how investment in your technology, whether hardware or software, can help us to meet those goals. If you can give a sense of your ambition, the potential economic output and impact, even better; as creating and safeguarding jobs in the UK automotive industry is a major part of our mission. 

Simplicity is key

Clarity is key to communicating your idea effectively. TDAP is highly competitive, so we have a strict page limit to ensure every application is afforded equal time and attention. To ensure that your application makes an impact, make sure you’re concise in your application and communicate your message in the space allowed. 

Don’t put it off

Your TDAP journey begins with a two-stage application process: a quick and easy to complete Expression of Interest, followed by a full application form for eligible projects. Get the EOI in early, and give yourself plenty of time to submit a timely and high-quality application. Don’t let a missed deadline stand in the way of a potential £135,000, business support, and the opportunities that can unlock. 

If you believe you have an idea that could revolutionise the automotive industry’s road to net-zero we want to hear from you. Expressions of Interest for TDAP Wave Six are open now and we need your completed full application by 2 February 2022. Make sure you’ve submitted your EoI in advance of this to leave yourself enough time to complete your full application. Find out how to apply here: https://www.apcuk.co.uk/competition/tdap-wave-6/  

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