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Next-Generation Transport

Strand 1 Automotive: Preparing for a zero-carbon future
Applications are open


The pace of change towards low-to-zero emission vehicles is creating unprecedented disruption across the global automotive sector and SETsquared’s Next-Generation Transport campaign aims to secure business opportunities for UK scale-up companies in this new environment.

We therefore invite companies (including UK Scale-Ups, OEMs and their supply chains), researchers (from the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey) and consortia (comprised of companies & researchers) to apply for up to £15k of funded business support to help develop R&D proposals for the next-generation transportation challenges set-out by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), Horizon 2020 and Innovate UK.

Please see below some points to bear in mind regarding APC competitions. Find out more information on APC funding calls.

  • Competitions are primarily focused on the late-stage development of low carbon propulsion technology, for both on and off-road vehicles;
  • Project costs should be between £5 million and £40 million and must be 50% match-funded by the industrial partners;
  • Whilst there is a degree of flexibility, successful projects commonly enter the process at TRL6 (Technology Readiness Level) and MRL (Manufacturing Readiness Level) 4, bridging the gap between prototype development and commercialisation.

We will also consider applications for support with bids for alternative competitions to APC.

Our six scale-up partner universities have extensive automotive expertise and capabilities, so there are huge opportunities to work with them. View a summary of their automotive expertise here

Funding will only be allocated to proposals which seek to include an academic partner from the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. If you do not have a partnership in place already, we can help identify suitable partners.

Each funding award can be used for bid writing, consortia partnership development and project management. Read our guide on how the funds can be used

Next-Generation Transport: Automotive

Application for R&D proposal development

Next Generation Transport bid buy out fund - Automotive

  • We suggest that your summary should cover the market opportunity for the proposed project, your/your collaborators’ approach, what outcomes you anticipate, and project finance. But remember to keep it short & succinct. The purpose of the project summary is to help the Scale-Up Programme evaluate the project for funding support to further develop the project – it’s unlikely that a project would have the full answers to all of these questions at this stage. (please see project summary guidance) If your project is not fully-formed at the moment, we welcome expressions of interest for future campaigns, just indicate this on the form.
  • Indicative only at this stage
  • Indicative only at this stage

Associate membership of the Scale Up programme is open to any company who meets the criteria and is free of charge. Full Membership will be offered to companies who access the CR&D proposal development support or investment raising support services. Full membership is subject to payment by the member company of a one-off fee and Membership is valid for one year. For the year 2019/20 the Membership Fee is £1,600 ex VAT. Any eligible company can waive the fee under the De Minimis State aid regulation (Commission Regulation (EU) NO 1470/2013) (DMR) providing they have not received in excess of 200,000EUR of aid within a 3 year period . This requires eligible companies to complete a Statement of Previous Aid declaration

SETsquared is a partnership between

  • University of Bath
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Southampton logo
  • University of Surrey