The headline numbers are substantial. Both the automotive industry and the British government are committed to £500 million funding each, to be provided over the next decade towards the development of low-carbon propulsion systems for on or off-road vehicles, supported by the UK’s Advanced Propulsion Centre. As part of this, APC 7 is the latest round of funding for the automotive industry and partners.
So vehicle manufacturers and tier one automakers take note – perhaps partner with an SME, who could be the technology developer or incubator. Are there any projects with CO2 reduction as a main goal that might be eligible, or are about to start? The underlying technology needs to be lab-tested as part of a vehicle system – in research jargon at least TRL6 and MRL4. This can be a relatively straightforward requirement. The challenge is advancing this past the ‘valley of death’ to TRL8 and MRL7 with full testing in final vehicle and expected conditions, as well as production in a manufacturing representative environment, prior to actual use by a paying and driving customer.
Specific technologies include: thermal propulsion systems, lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures, electric machines and power electronics, energy storage and energy management, and alternative propulsion systems. Although not necessarily all at once!
This kind of technology and project often feature in longer-term company product roadmaps. As such, it is a great opportunity to refresh a project or start a new one, and partner up to create a consortium. Funding matching by government is attractive. So too is the chance to partner, acting as a stimulus to creativity and progress. With time being limited for many in industry, Market Engineering can help with the grants application process – adding technical writing and funding clarity. Even so, it pays to start discussions sooner rather than later to ensure the best chance of success in winning funding.
A few criteria need to be satisfied before applying for the substantial APC 7 project funding of between £5m and £40m per 18 to 42 month project. Firstly, a consortium with a CO2 emission reduction project must be created with a clear demonstrable route to production including at least one SME, and one vehicle manufacturer or tier one supplier. Secondly, economic benefits targeted should include new or safeguarded jobs, upskilling, new business or expansion or new products and services, and value for money delivered to customers. Of course, there is a UK supply chain capability enhancement target as well.
The important dates to note are:
APC 7 Registration Deadline: Noon 29th March 2017
Submission Deadline: Noon 5th April 2017
More funding details are available from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/funding-competition-apc7-anchoring-low-carbon-technology-in-the-uk
Not for you? Be assured that Market Engineering continue to monitor grants and research competitions-both large and small- relevant to the automotive sector, and will keep readers informed of the latest developments as they arise.