APC invites net-zero innovators to access sixth round of early-stage funding

UK SMEs can apply for funding to accelerate their innovations as the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) opens its successful Technology Developer Accelerator Programme (TDAP) for a sixth wave of applications. Up to £135,000 of grant support is available to ambitious micro, small and medium-sized enterprises who are working to develop on or off-vehicle technology, products or services that support either zero-emission vehicle development or the shift to net-zero carbon automotive products.

TDAP transforms good ideas into market viable technologies, through an 18-month phased programme designed to set small-scale innovators up for commercial success. Companies that have completed TDAP have benefitted from developing prototypes and product demonstrators, finding new routes to market, developing new partnerships, and strengthening their strategies and business plans. So far, TDAP alumni have raised over £65m of private investment following their time on the programme.

Suffolk-based artificial intelligence (AI) developer, Spark EV Technology, benefitted from TDAP support in 2020 to grow their energy optimisation and range prediction technology for electric vehicles.

Participation in the programme has led to new opportunities as CEO, Justin Ott, explains:

We wanted to mature our technology but also expand our access to different people within the industry, new customers and new partners. TDAP has helped us to develop the robustness of our technology enhancing our technology readiness level (TRL) and expanding the operating systems which can integrate our product. Our technology is now integrated into an electric passenger car, and it has enabled us to focus on other areas too, such as electric bikes and trucks, expanding our market opportunity. One piece of feedback we had early on in the programme was ‘well you have this prediction technology for four wheels, why don’t you look at two?’. So, we were introduced to an electric bike manufacturer and were able to develop, test and prove our technology with two-wheeler customers – which has led to a new commercial partnership with a major Tier 1 supplier. In terms of next steps after TDAP, we are looking to secure supplier contracts with new customers and are in discussions with three OEMs to integrate our technology onto their platforms and then we’re looking to raise a series A investment round in the next few months.

Josh Denne, Head of SME Programmes at the APC, says:

Ever since its pilot launch in 2015, TDAP has been levelling the playing field for UK SMEs, ensuring their pioneering, transformative technologies  can find their way into  the green marketplace. Our latest round is a continuation of the APC’s commitment to  the some of the UKs most exciting start-ups, spin-outs and mature SMEs. We invite applications from any interested early-stage developers who are ready to take the next step.

The APC is issuing application packs to eligible applicants on an ongoing basis. The closing date for applications is 2nd February 2022 with a target programme start date of May 2022.