The APC drives the propulsion nation forward – announcing new funding and a sixth spoke

  • APC launches APC 5 Competition Funding
  • APC 5 is expected to exceed £70m in total project funding
  • Business Secretary, Sajid Javid welcomes the launch of APC 5
  • University of Newcastle appointed APC Electric Machines Spoke
  • APC Spokes provide forums to accelerate low carbon vehicle opportunities

Speaking today at the Launch of APC 5 Competition Ian Constance, Chief Executive of the Advanced Propulsion Centre, shares the good news for Automotive from the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement – announcing the Launch of Round 5 Competition for APC Funding and the new Electric Machine Spoke at the University of Newcastle.

APC 5 seeks proposals for collaborative research and development projects that deliver significant reductions in vehicle emissions compared to the current best-in-class technologies. All projects must be business led and include a vehicle manufacturer or tier 1 supplier and an SME.

The first 4 rounds of APC funding have engaged with over 50 organisations and have supported innovative projects with circa £90m of grant funding. Round 5 is expected to generate a total of £70m of co-investment funding from Government and industry.

Ian Constance, Chief Executive of the APC said:

The UK automotive industry has a significant opportunity to build on its existing strengths in powertrain engineering and low carbon innovation to seize global competitiveness. The opening of APC 5, the latest grant funding competition, will create £70 million investment in collaborative projects. Each programme we invest in has the power to enhance the UK’s position as a Propulsion Nation and ultimately contribute to the UK’s economic prosperity.

Business Secretary, Sajid Javid said:

The UK’s automotive sector got a big boost in the Autumn Statement, providing an additional £225 million funding for automotive R&D. We already have the most productive auto sector in Europe, and the government is determined to build on this. The projects established by the APC to promote low carbon innovation will ensure world-leading automotive manufacturing – and high-skilled jobs – in the UK for years to come.

Ian Constance also announced the latest addition to the APC Hub and Spoke network. The latest announcement brings the total number of Spokes to six and focusses on those communities specialising in Electric Machines. Each spoke brings together industry and academia to support the development of the UK’s low carbon vehicle capability.

Operating an open and inclusive network created to focus on strategic automotive technologies and act as a conduit to the UK’s expertise and resources, the Spoke is a community of key academic and industrial parties; their role supports the development of the UK’s advanced propulsion supply chain by disseminating industrial challenges to the community, supporting the development of consortia for funding competitions, and actively engaging in the promotion of the community and its outputs.

Ian Constance, Chief Executive of the APC said:
“The APC Spoke Network provides the forum for industry and academia to come together as communities of common interest. They act as an enabler maximising opportunities for the development and production of low carbon propulsion technology. I am delighted to announce that the University of Newcastle has been selected to coordinate communities in Electric Machines.”

The APC Spokes provide access to expertise in specialist technologies, signposting and promoting UK capabilities whilst providing networking opportunities to build consortia. The lead academic institution for each APC Spoke will coordinate the activity including the creation of a steering group, providing a collaborative environment for all interested parties and helping to develop the relevant technology roadmaps by providing input, through the APC, to the Automotive Council.

Commenting on their appointment as coordinator of the Electric Machine Spoke, Dr James Widmer, Director of the Newcastle Spoke, said:
“Newcastle University is delighted to be confirmed as the lead of the sixth APC Spoke and therefore the lead of a community of Excellence in Electrical Machines. The University has worked on the development of electrical machines for many years and over the last decade has had a significant focus on fundamental research and supporting industry in the development of traction motors and auxiliary motors for low carbon vehicles.

“The Newcastle Spoke will bring together leading academic and industrial researchers to build on the existing APC network and help position the UK as a world leader in this increasingly important field.”

Newcastle joins five current Spokes including Digital Engineering and Test, Electrical Energy Storage, Power Electronics and two for Internal Combustion Engines.