• Damon Butcher

Automotive Transformation Fund Feasibility Studies: Round 3

Updated: Mar 9

Open


Summary:

Organisations can apply for a share of up to £10 million for business case feasibility studies to support scale up of the UK’s zero emission automotive supply chain.


Open date: 24/01/2022

Close date: 09/03/2022

Max Grant Size (SME): £1,000,000

Funding Percentage: 70%

Collaboration: Single or collaborative

Funding Type: Europe

Fund Provider(s): Innovate UK

Industries: Mobility, Net Zero, Automotive


 

Description

The Automotive Transformation Fund is delivered by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and partners, Innovate UK, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Department for International Trade (DIT). It supports the industrialisation at scale of a high-value electrified automotive supply chain in the UK. APC is seeking proposals from single organisations or consortiums for business case feasibility studies up to the value of £1 million. These feasibility studies must produce a decision-ready business case, in preparation for projects which will develop large scale manufacturing facilities in the UK. The resulting projects must support the UK automotive industry in:

  • increasing business confidence in making large scale manufacturing investments

  • building electrified vehicle supply chains

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

Who can apply Your project Your project must:

  • have total project costs of no more than £1 million

  • produce a suitably detailed and reasoned business case through a feasibility study, to aid a future investment decision

  • start on or after the 1 May 2022

  • end on or before 31 March 2023

  • be completed within 6 months

If your project’s total eligible costs or duration fall outside of the above criteria, you must contact the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) directly at atf@apcuk.co.uk at least 10 days before the competition closes. APC will decide whether to approve your request.

Lead organisation To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size

  • be a grant recipient

  • carry out its project work in the UK

  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Non-UK registered companies and research organisations are eligible to apply for funding as a lead or part of a project team if they:

  • set up an active UK registered business before they start their project

  • carry out all funded work in the UK

  • meet all other criteria stated above

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone. Project team To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business, academic institution, charity, not-for-profit, public sector organisation, research and technology organisation (RTO) or a non-UK registered company or research organisation

  • carry out its project work in the UK

  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

If collaborative, the lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding by entering their costs during the application. Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on the project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service. Non UK partners receiving funding must set up and provide evidence of an active UK registered business before they start work on the project. 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 and must be selected through a participant’s normal procurement process. Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK. If an overseas subcontractor is selected, a case must be made as to why no UK-based subcontractor can be used including a detailed rationale, evidence of UK companies that have been approached and reasons why they were unable to do so. We expect subcontractor costs to be justified and appropriate to the total eligible project costs. A cheaper cost is not deemed as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

Number of applications There are no restrictions on the number of applications an eligible organisation can lead or partner on. Should you be successful, we will ask you to confirm you have the capacity to run multiple projects simultaneously.

Previous applications You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition. You can make a maximum of 2 applications 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. If your application goes through to assessment and is deemed unsuccessful, you can reapply with the same proposal once more, taking into account the feedback received from the assessors. 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

  • overdue payments to APC

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). 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) have allocated up to £10 million to fund innovation projects in this competition. You must request the minimum amount of funding needed for your project. 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 feasibility studies 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

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 eligible project costs if you are an RTO, charity, not-for-profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation

APC levy A 3% levy is payable to the APC by all partners on grant received.

Your proposal The Automotive Transformation Fund will support the industrialisation at scale of a high value electrified automotive supply chain in the UK. More information on the Automotive Transformation Fund can be found on the APC website. This competition is to support companies in the development of an investment business case to secure large scale automotive supply chain manufacturing in the UK. These business case feasibility studies must:

  • result in a detailed business case enabling a decision either to invest in the project, and therefore the UK, or showing clearly the additional steps or measures to do so

  • prioritise the automotive sector, but this does not exclude spill over use in other sectors

  • deliver a closeout report and attend a meeting with APC, to review the business case, its outcomes and next steps, prior to closure and payment of the final claim

APC will fund a portfolio of feasibility studies across the technologies listed in the specific themes section.

Specific themes Your business case 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 can focus on but not be limited to:

  • batteries, including cells (gigafactories)

  • electric motors and drives

  • power electronics

  • fuel cells and on-vehicle hydrogen storage

  • upstream supply chain for: batteries including cells, electric motors and drives, power electronics or fuel cells and on-vehicle hydrogen storage

Research categories We will fund feasibility studies, as defined in the guidance on categories of research.

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

  • not aligned with the aims of the Automotive Transformation Fund

  • purely R&D

  • technical feasibility studies, except where validating UK compatibility and incidental to the economic viability study

  • not of sustained benefit to the automotive sector primarily

  • centred on technologies or processes which are not mature and ready to scale at pace

  • focussed primarily on fossil-fuelled internal combustion technology

  • focussed primarily on the use of digital or data technologies

  • centred on low carbon fuels for combustion engines

  • centred around off-vehicle charging infrastructure

  • dependent on export performance

  • dependent on domestic inputs usage

 

Link: Automotive Transformation Fund Feasibility Studies: Round 3

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