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  • Writer's pictureDamon Butcher

Automotive transformation fund expression of interest: round 20

Updated: Apr 22, 2022



UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £1 billion for capital centric investment projects that help industrialise the electrified automotive supply chain at scale in the UK.

Open date: 28/03/2022

Close date: 20/04/2022

Max Funding: Share of £1,000,000,000

Funding Percentage: 80%

Collaboration: Single or Collaborative

Funding Type: Grant

Fund Provider(s): Innovate UK

Industries: Automotive, Net Zero


Description The Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) is an Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) programme that aims to establish a competitive and sustainable UK supply chain. It offers a share of up to £1billion of funding for capital and associated industrial research projects. This will be to support the industrialisation of a high value, electrified automotive supply at scale in the UK. This is an expression of interest (EoI) competition, which is the first stage in a two stage process. Your EoI application outlines your proposal and potential benefits to the UK. If your application is successful, you will be invited to progress to a full application for the ATF competition. 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 costs and project duration must be appropriate and in proportion to the planned objectives and prioritisation of the Automotive Transformation Fund.

Who can apply Your project Your total project costs and project duration must be strongly aligned to the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF). To be eligible your project must request a minimum of £1 million in grant against your total eligible project costs. You must only include eligible project costs in your application. If your project’s total 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. Your application will then not be sent for assessment. Lead organisation To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size

  • carry out its project work in the UK

  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

  • address the requirements of the Automotive Transformation Fund

Non-UK businesses can apply to this expression of interest (EoI) competition in reference to activities they are considering undertaking in the UK. The business must be registered in the UK before any funding can be awarded. Project team To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be a UK registered:

  • business of any size

  • academic institution

  • charity

  • not-for-profit

  • public sector organisation

  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Non-UK businesses can be invited to partner in this expression of interest (EoI) competition in reference to activities they are considering undertaking in the UK. The business must be registered in the UK before any funding can be awarded. 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 you are a collaboration the lead and at least one other organisation must request funding by entering their costs during the application. If you are working in a collaboration the lead and at least one other organisation must claim any funding awarded through the BEIS Central Grants & Loans Team. 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 You can make more than one application. There are no restrictions on the number of applications a business can lead or collaborate on. There are no restrictions on the number of applications a partner can collaborate on.

Previous applications You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition. You can make a maximum of 2 submissions to Innovate UK with any given proposal. If Innovate UK judges that your proposal is not materially different from your previous proposal, it will be counted towards this maximum. We will not award you funding if you have:

  • failed to exploit a previously funded project

  • an overdue independent accountant’s report

  • failed to comply with grant terms and conditions

Subsidy control (and non 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 at all times 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 Up to £1billion has been allocated to fund capital focused projects in this competition. No funding is awarded at this EoI stage. Successful applicants from this EoI stage will be invited to a second full stage ATF competition. Funding for the full stage will be in the form of a grant. Capital investment projects Capital investment projects will be managed through the BEIS Central Grants & Loans Team. For capital investment projects the grant available is dependent on the proposed project and will be determined during the second stage of the application process. The grant requested should be the minimum required to ensure sustainability of the investment. Funding levels for associated R&D costs are dependent on the size of your organisation. Further information on the process will be provided at the full stage. 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 Research organisation participation is allowed where research is integral to your capital centric project. 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, non-profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation

Your proposal This is an expression of interest (EoI) competition. You must have a successful application in this competition before you can be invited to apply to the full stage competition. Any application to the full stage competition will be subject to a separate assessment, with no guarantee of funding support. Your project must support the industrialisation at scale of an electrified automotive supply chain. It must be appropriate and in proportion to the planned objectives and prioritisation of the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF). You should be looking to transform the automotive industry through significant business or production expansion. We expect your project to be centred around a product, process or technology that you have already demonstrated and have confirmed as technically and economically feasible. Your application can be for:

  • capital investment only

  • capital and associated R&D activity

Your proposal must prioritise the scale up in areas mentioned in the Automotive Transformation Strategy for an electrified supply chain. Your project must prioritise scale up and focus on one or more of the following:

  • batteries including cells (’gigafactories’)

  • electric motors and drives

  • power electronics

  • fuel cells

  • upstream supply chain for, batteries including cells, electric motors and drives, power electronics or fuel cells

Your project must:

  • fit with the overall strategy of the ATF

  • offer value for money for the UK

  • have an ongoing benefit to the UK from the exploitation of your project

  • include deliverables such as time, cost and quality (including risks)

Only projects which score well against these criteria will receive funding from the ATF. The ATF will prioritise support to projects that:

  • can act as anchors to their respective supply chains

  • are likely to lead to further investments while creating a sustainable and competitive supply chain for the future

The Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) will fund a portfolio of projects, across the technologies listed in the specific themes section. This portfolio and the technologies within are designed to be complimentary to the overall aim of the ATF. There may be occasions where a lower scoring project is supported, superseding a higher scoring application. The APC can help you check whether your project fits the Automotive Transformation Fund. Contact the APC team at to find out more.

Specific themes Your project must focus on one or more of the following: Batteries including cells (’gigafactories’)

  • cathode materials and manufacturing

  • anode materials and manufacturing

  • electrolyte

  • cell assembly components (including separators)

Electric motors and drives

  • magnet materials and manufacturing

  • electrical steel materials and manufacturing

  • electrical machine assembly

  • drive line components

  • assembly and test into complete drive unit

Power electronics

  • wide band gap semi-conductors

  • sensors

  • passives

  • power electronics assembly

Fuel cells

  • MEA

  • fuel cell stack assembly

  • storage tanks

Upstream Supply Chain including:

  • raw materials

  • component manufacturing

  • sub-assembly manufacturing

The Automotive Transformation Fund provides detailed information on the specific themes of this competition.

Research categories In the full stage competition, the Automotive Transformation Fund will fund:

  • capital investment through the BEIS Central Grants & Loans Team

  • associated industrial research as defined in the guidance on categories of research and ‘Aid for research and development projects’

Projects we will not fund We are not funding projects that:

  • do not transform the automotive industry through significant business or production expansion

  • are not centred around a product, process or technology that you have already demonstrated

  • are not confirmed as technically and economically feasible

  • have a primary focus on recycling

  • focus on assembly or components related to battery packs or battery modules, other than those listed in the specific themes section

  • focus on cell testing, module testing or battery pack testing

  • focus on fuel cell components other than those listed in the specific themes section

  • focus on sub assembly manufacturing of air handling systems or balance of plant for fuel cells

  • are dependent on export performance

  • are dependent on domestic inputs usage

We are not funding capital investment that:

  • is related to charging infrastructure

  • includes investment in final electric vehicle assembly at original equipment manufacturers (OEM)

  • supports retail and wholesale fuel supply

  • focuses primarily on use of digital or data technologies such as simulation

  • supports speculative site enabling projects

We are not funding associated R&D activity for:

  • software development

  • product or process development which is at prototype or early proof of concept stage

  • low-carbon fuels development

We are not funding projects that are only R&D.


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