top of page
  • Writer's pictureDamon Butcher

APC 21: Developing Automotive Technologies and Capability for Net Zero Competition



UK registered businesses can apply for a share of £25 million for late-stage R&D projects that help accelerate the UK towards a net-zero automotive future.

Open date: 31/03/2022

Close date: 18/05/2022

Max Funding: Share of £25,000,000

Match Funding: 50%

Collaboration: Single or Collaborative

Funding Type: Grant

Fund Provider(s): Advanced Propulsion Centre

Industries: Automotive, Net-Zero


Description The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) provides funding, support and insight for the development of low carbon and net zero 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 £25 million. We are looking for collaborative, pre-production research and development (R&D) projects that:

  • support the UK’s long-term capabilities by securing long-term R&D investment

  • achieve through the associated supply chain, 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 11 am UK time on the deadline stated.

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

Your project

Your project must:

  • have total costs between £5 million and £40 million

  • be a minimum of 50% match funded

  • start by 1 September 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

Your project can contain a maximum of 6 project partners.

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 has not been approved by us, you will be made ineligible and your application will not be sent for assessment.

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

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 grant claiming micro small or medium enterprise (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

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)

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 (IFS) 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 IFS.

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 project costs.


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

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 projects and applicants should apply for the minimum amount of APC funding required to make the project viable. This can be up to 50% of total project costs. In this round APC is investing £25 million. A minimum of 70% of your projects total project costs must be incurred by commercial organisations. The total grant request in your application cannot exceed 50% of the total project costs. This is regardless of the individual partner’s grant claims. Of that 50% 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. 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


Inovasi helps companies to innovate with innovation incentives: R&D, Tax Credits, The Patent Box Scheme, and Funding. Inovasi aims to save you time, so you can focus on the core of your business, we offer expert advice, you can rest easy knowing your claim has been strictly adhered to HMRC legislation, reducing the chance of an inquiry, maximise all aspects of your innovation process, experienced, up to date on the latest guidance and changes related to grants.


bottom of page