SME & Supply Chain Development competition to invest £1 million to turn technology into products

The Advanced Propulsion Centre will invest £1 million to turn technology into products, through the Niche Vehicle Network. The new SME & Supply Chain Development Competition will have a grant funding pot of up to £1 million for vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and design/engineering organisations active in the UK low carbon vehicle propulsion sector who wish to collaborate on innovative, industry-led projects, that:

  • Deliver significant reductions in vehicle CO2 or other emissions compared to current best-in-class technologies
  • Align with Automotive Council Technology Group Roadmaps with respect to advanced propulsion solutions
  • Develop the UK’s supply chain in the field of low carbon vehicle propulsion technology

Projects need to demonstrate the development of propulsion technologies based around one or more of the following technology areas:

  • Internal combustion engines
  • Lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures
  • Electric machines and power electronics
  • Energy storage and energy management
  • Alternative propulsion systems

Projects must be collaborative and industry-led and include a vehicle manufacturer or a tier 1/ tier 2 supplier as appropriate and a further SME partner within the consortium. The competition is aimed primarily at SMEs but it is permissible to include one large company in each consortium.

Projects must aim to support the growth and competitiveness of the low carbon vehicle propulsion sector and apply the technology on a UK on or off road vehicle.

We expect to fund up to 4 projects with total project costs of up to £500,000 and lasting a maximum of 9 months.

Funding eligibility

  • Collaborations must be business-led and address the specific requirements of the competition
  • All funded activities must be undertaken in the UK by UK registered companies
  • The majority of technologies used in the project will have achieved proof of concept through technology demonstration before the start of the project
  • The developed technology must be demonstrated on a UK on or off road vehicle platform
  • A clear ‘route to market’ for the end-product must be identified, with a focus on the UK Automotive vehicle sector
  • The lead partner must be a UK company active in the UK low carbon propulsion sector
  • The lead partner submits the bid and manages the project
  • Organisations cannot lead more than one bid
  • Organisations cannot participate in more than 2 bids in total
  • Micro companies, Large companies, Universities or University Group Companies can participate as a project partner only, not lead a project
  • Only 1 large company can be included per bid
  • Eligible costs include labour, overheads, materials, capital depreciation, subcontracting, consumables
  • All grant recipients will be contractually obliged to pay a levy amounting to 3.5% of the value of the grant received directly to the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK Limited

Overall, each project will attract no more than 50% public funding of the total eligible project costs and the maximum grant per project is capped at £250,000.

Grant funding metrics

  • Maximum overall project costs: £500,000
  • Maximum grant per project: £250,000
  • Minimum grant per project: £150,000
  • Maximum grant intervention rate: 50%
  • Maximum share per partner: 50% of total project grant
  • Minimum share per partner: 20% of total project grant
  • Large companies cannot receive >30% of total project grant
  • Number of partners (including Lead) per project: Minimum 3, Maximum 4
  • Project duration: up to 9 months of active project activity, plus one month for consolidation of outcomes and preparation for dissemination