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APC 19: Developing automotive technologies and growing capability UK businesses can apply for a share of £25 million for late-stage research and development projects that help accelerate the UK towards a net-zero automotive future. Eligibility This competition is open to collaborations only. To lead a project your organisation must be a UK registered business of any size. Your consortium must include a vehicle manufacturer or tier 1 supplier. Project partners will only be awarded grant for eligible project costs related to the delivery of an approved project and subject to agreed terms and conditions.osts related to the delivery of an approved project and subject to agreed terms and conditions. Closing soon Opened: 9 August 2021 Closes: 6 October 2021

Programme: Innovate Uk

Award:

Opens: 9 August 2021

Closes: 6 October 2021

Description

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) provides funding, support and insight, in developing automotive technologies. It aims to grow capability to support the UK’s transition towards net zero product manufacturing and supply chain in the UK automotive sector.

In this competition round APC is investing up to £25 million.

We are looking for collaborative, pre-production research and development (R&D) projects that:

  • support the UK’s long-term capabilities through securing long term R&D investment
  • can be achieved through its associated supply chain in the design, build and manufacture of zero carbon tailpipe emission vehicles

Projects must look to fulfil both these criteria, to ensure the UK meets the future demand of vehicle-makers.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding type

Grant

Project size

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £5 million and £40 million and be a minimum of 50% match funded, with a suggested maximum number of 6 partners.

Who can apply

Your project

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £5 million and £40 million
  • be a minimum of 50% match funded
  • start by 1 April 2022
  • last between 18 and 42 months
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

We suggest projects contain a maximum of 6 project partners.

If your project’s total eligible costs, duration, or number of partners, falls outside of our eligibility criteria, we will decide whether to approve your request. You must contact APC directly on +44(0)24 7652 8700 or info@apcuk.co.uk at least 10 days before the competition closes to ask for permission to apply. They will decide whether to approve your request.

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • have an active registered business base in the UK
  • be a grant recipient
  • involve at least one SME if the lead is not one
  • include in your consortium a vehicle manufacturer or tier 1 supplier who supplies parts directly to an original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
  • collaborate with others

Academic institutions and research organisations cannot lead projects.

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under State aid.



Project team

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be a UK registered:

Non-UK registered or based businesses and research organisations are only eligible to apply for funding if they:

  • set up an active UK registered business base, where the funded project work will be carried out, before starting the project
  • provide evidence of an intention to expand their R&D activity in the UK after the project

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

The lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding by entering their costs during the application.

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example, non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total eligible project costs.

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must also provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you.

We expect all subcontractor costs to be justified and appropriate to the total eligible project costs. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.


Number of applications

There are no limits on the number of applications an organisation can be involved in.

Previous applications

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

We will not award you funding if you have:

Subsidy control (and State aid where applicable)

This competition provides funding in line with the UK's obligations and commitments to Subsidy Control. Further information about the UK Subsidy Control requirements can be found within the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement and the subsequent guidance from the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Innovate UK is unable to award organisations that are considered to be in financial difficulty. We will conduct financial viability and eligibility tests to confirm this is not the case following the application stage.

EU State aid rules now only apply in limited circumstances. Please see our general guidance to check if these rules apply to your organisation.


Further Information

If you are unsure about your obligations under the UK Subsidy Control regime or the State aid rules, you should take independent legal advice. We are unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.

You must make sure at all times that the funding awarded to you is compliant with all current Subsidy Control legislation applicable in the United Kingdom.
This aims to regulate any advantage granted by a public sector body which threatens to or actually distorts competition in the United Kingdom or any other country or countries.

If there are any changes to the above requirements that mean we need to change the terms of this competition, we will tell you as soon as possible.

Funding

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) invests up to £35 million, three times per year, in collaborative research and development (R&D) projects. These are pre-production match-funded projects. In this round APC is investing £25 million.

A minimum of 70% of your projects total eligible project costs must be incurred by commercial organisations.

If your organisation’s work on the project is mostly commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

The total grant request in your application cannot exceed 50% of the total eligible project costs. This is regardless of the individual partners’ grant claims.

For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

Research Participation

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them.

Of that 30%, research and technology organisations in the consortium could get funding for their eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if they are an academic institution
  • 100% of their eligible project costs if they are an RTO

Advanced propulsion centre levy

A 3.5% levy is payable to the APC by all partners on grant received.

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