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APC23: Industrialising net-zero automotive technology UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £20 million for late-stage R&D 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. You must involve at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME), and have evidence of a clear route to market. Open now Opened: 16 January 2023 Closes: 15 March 2023

Programme: Innovate Uk

Award:

Opens: 16 January 2023

Closes: 15 March 2023

Description

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) provides funding, support, insight and foresight for the development of low emission transport solutions, and automotive technologies. It aims 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 £20 million.

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

  • support the UK’s long-term vision and underpinning capabilities by securing long term R&D investment
  • achieve through the associated supply chain, the design, build, test and manufacture of net-zero carbon emission vehicles

Projects must look to fulfil both these criteria to ensure the UK meets the future demand of vehicle makers and users, strengthening UK’s global impact and, anchoring the value-add across the whole supply chain.

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 grant funding request must be between £2.5 million and £20 million. Your project must be a minimum of 50% match-funded, with a suggested maximum number of six partners.

Who can apply

Your project

Your project must:

  • have total grant funding request between £2.5 million and £20 million
  • be a minimum of 50% match-funded
  • start by 1 October 2023
  • last between 18 and 42 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian and Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian and Belarusian source.

If your project’s total grant funding request or duration falls outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to info@apcuk.co.uk at least 10 working days before the competition closes. The APC will decide whether to approve your request.

If you have not requested approval or your application has not been approved by APC, you will be made ineligible. Your application will then not be sent for assessment.

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
  • collaborate with other UK registered organisations

More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.

Academic institutions and research organisations cannot lead projects.

Project team

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

You must involve at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).

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

  • they set up an active UK-registered business where the funded project work will be carried out
  • provide evidence of an intention to expand their R&D activity in the UK during and 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.

To be an eligible collaboration, the lead and at least one other organisation must apply for funding when entering their costs into the application.

Non-funded partners

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 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 provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.

Number of applications

There is no limit 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, however you can only submit the same application twice, without a material change.

We will not award you funding if you have:

Subsidy control (and State aid where applicable)

This competition provides funding in line with the Subsidy Control Act 2022. Further information about the Subsidy requirements can be found within the Subsidy Control Act 2022 (legislation.gov.uk)

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 Subsidy Control Act 2022 or the State aid rules, you should take independent legal advice. We are unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.

You must always make sure 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 £75 million per annum, in collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects.

These are pre-production projects and applicants should apply for the minimum amount of APC funding required to make the project viable. The total project grant request must be no more than £20 million and no more than 50% of your total project costs. This is regardless of the individual partners’ grant claims.

In this round APC is investing £20 million.

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

If your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

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

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.

If you are applying for an award funded under State aid Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.

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% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-S registered institution such as an academic
  • 100% of your project costs if you are an RTO, charity, not for profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation

Advanced Propulsion Centre levy

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

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