APC funding competitions – how the APC and Innovate UK work together

A briefing about the current Advanced Propulsion Centre funding competition (APC 3) was given in a webinar on 2nd December 2014. This webinar focused on the detail of the competition and about the application process, and explained why, unlike many other funding competitions, the APC can advise organisations that wish to apply.

APC 3 has up to £100 million of funding available for projects that deliver significant reductions in vehicle CO2 or other emissions. The competition for collaborative R&D funding is designed to deliver economic benefit through the development of low carbon, low emission automotive propulsion technologies.

The APC 3 webinar was jointly presented by Innovate UK and the APC, and the way that the two organisations work together was explained.

Innovate UK supports companies to take innovative new ideas to market, in order to achieve faster sustainable economic growth. It works with partners such as the APC to accelerate the speed of the journey from concept to commercialisation, by bridging the funding gap for collaborative projects that carry a greater degree of risk than normal.

The £100 million funding for the APC 3 project is one of the largest projects that Innovate UK has been involved in. The value of the individual projects should be between £5-£40 million, and the projects are expected to last between18-42 months. The outcome has to be a technology that results in a step change in the level of emissions reduction. Tim O’Brien from Innovate UK commented that the organisation’s most successful projects to date have had strong buy-in at a senior level in the consortium partners.

Innovate UK runs the competition process on behalf of the APC. The APC identifies themes, and how they link in with the Automotive Council roadmaps and the advanced propulsion agenda. In the webinar, Jon Beasley, the APC’s Director of Technology and Projects explained that the organisation is not assessing the applications for funding – this is done by Innovate UK and BIS – therefore the APC can advise applicants about potential submissions.

The APC is interested in taking technologies that are currently at technology readiness levels (TRLs) 5-6, and at low manufacturing readiness levels, through to TRL 8. Competitions such as APC 3 help to share the risk of developing such technologies.

If you have a technology that could be commercialised and which could help to significantly lower vehicle emissions, then speak to the APC as soon as possible. The APC can also talk to you at the early stages of an idea.