The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) this week launched its Round 5 funding competition. The announcement follows news in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement of new financial backing for the Automotive Council project.
The APC was formed through the Automotive Council’s Industrial Strategy, and aims to bring automotive R&D projects to fruition through government funding. Since its inception in 2013, the APC has worked with more than 50 companies and provided £90 million in grant funding. Between 2013 and March 2015 it was a key player in attracting £750m of investment into the UK automotive supply chain.
The funding is made available to the winners of bi-annual competitions for projects which are collaborative, business-led and typically where the eligible project costs are in the range of £5m to £40m.
The Round 5 competition is expected to generate £70 million in total project funding, and will seek proposals for collaborative R&D projects which offer significant reductions in vehicle emissions compared with existing technologies. All APC funded projects must include both an SME and either a vehicle manufacturer or Tier-1 supplier.
In addition, Newcastle University has been appointed as the APC’s Electric Machines Spoke, making it the sixth spoke in the APC hub-and-spoke network. The existing spokes cover digital engineering and test, electrical energy storage, and power electronics, with two spokes focusing on internal combustion engines.
Business Secretary Sajid Javid said, “The UK’s automotive sector got a big boost in the Autumn Statement, providing an additional £225 million funding for automotive R&D. We already have the most productive auto sector in Europe, and the government is determined to build on this.
“The projects established by the APC to promote low carbon innovation will ensure world-leading automotive manufacturing – and high-skilled jobs – in the UK for years to come.”