Driving the Electric Revolution – PEMD Skills Hub UK registered organisations can apply for up to £1 million from Driving the electric revolution for the development of a Power Electronics, Machines and Drives skills hub. This competition is open to single applicants and collaborations. To lead a project your organisation must be a UK registered: business of any size research organisation research and technology organisation (RTO) academic institution charity not-for-profit public sector organisation Opening soon Opens: 15 November 2021 Closes: 15 December 2021

Programme: Innovate Uk


Opens: 15 November 2021

Closes: 15 December 2021


Innovate UK’s Driving the electric revolution challenge, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £1 million in a single project to create a Power Electronic, Machines and Drives (PEMD) skills hub. This is to support the challenge aims of creating world leading supply chains and expertise for the manufacture of PEMD in the UK.

The aim of this competition is to establish the hub as a lasting ‘platform’ that will connect training and education course providers with employers and learners. The hub will be accessible to new learners, professionals already working in PEMD, and those wanting to develop expertise in specialist areas.

The hub will impartially curate, organise and host a range of innovative and traditional courses that meets industry needs and encourages the community to share PEMD skills.

The funding will support:

  • the development of the platform for the hub
  • the development of a cohesive UK PEMD skills community
  • operational costs for up to 36 months to enable the hub to become established

The hub must operate for at least 10 years in total from the date of the funding agreement being signed. You must be able to provide the necessary remaining operational investment from your own means to financially support the hub for the rest of this period after the grant draw-down has ended.

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

Project size

The maximum grant you can claim in this competition is £1 million. Your project’s total eligible costs are not limited.

Who can apply

Your project

Your project must:

  • not claim more than £1 million grant
  • start by 1st April 2022
  • deliver an operational hub by 1 September 2022
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results in the UK

If your project’s total eligible costs or duration falls outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to at least 10 working days before the competition closes. We will decide whether to approve your request. If you have not requested approval or your application request has not been approved by us, you will be made ineligible, and your application will not be sent for assessment.

We will fund a single project that will develop a platform, create the skills community and manage the hub.

The funding from UK Research and Innovation will end by 31 March 2025. This will be the end of the grant draw down period.

The hub must operate for at least 10 years in total from the date of the funding agreement being signed.

Lead organisation

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

Project team

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

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

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.

If collaborating 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. Their costs will count towards the total eligible project costs.

The winning proposal for this competition will support the overall Driving the electric revolution challenge’s skills agenda and collaborate with the challenge programme.

The hub will be expected to attend cohort meetings with other skills projects funded by the Challenge. You will share non-commercially sensitive results and best practice, to encourage further collaboration and skills, talent and training opportunities.


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

An eligible organisation can lead or collaborate on any number of applications.

An eligible organisation can collaborate on any number of applications.

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.


We have allocated up to £1 million to fund a single project in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If the majority of 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.

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 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.

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 100% of the total eligible project costs.

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 eligible project costs if you are an RTO, charity, non-profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation
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