APC6 - Accelerating the Drive to Low Carbon Propulsion

Consortia the UK are invited to apply for a share of up to £25 million to take prototype automotive technologies towards volume production with projects to deliver reductions in vehicle emissions and increased capability in the supply chain.

The programme has a provisional budget of up to £25 million.

IUK expects projects to range in size from total costs of £5 million and £40 million. Projects should last between one year six months and three years and six months.

The percentage of costs IUK pays varies, depending on the type of research being carried out, the type of organisation involved, and the outcome of a value-for-money economic assessment which will be undertaken by BEIS.


Before You Start

The aim of this competition is to develop prototype automotive technologies for production through projects that deliver reductions in vehicle emissions and increased capability in the supply chain. These can be for either on-road or off-road vehicles. IUK is seeking proposals for collaborative research and development projects. They should be in one or more of the following technology areas:

  • Internal combustion engines
  • lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures
  • electric machines and power electronics
  • energy storage and energy management
  • alternative propulsion systems

IUK is particularly encouraging projects that will develop disruptive technologies. They should also show how they will speed up the route to market for these new technologies.


The competition’s aim is to develop on-vehicle technologies – for either on-road or off-road vehicles. Technologies that primarily reside off the vehicle, such as charging infrastructure, are out of scope.

What You Need To Know

Key Criteria

Applications for collaborative research and development funding must come from a group of organisations acting as a consortium. Consortia must have a clear, demonstrable route to production and line of sight to market. They must include at least one vehicle manufacturer and/or a Tier 1 supplier, and at least one SME partner. They are encouraged to consider having more than one end-user as part of the consortium, illustrating the strength of the business case for the technology.

Consortia should have the potential to realise economic benefits within a short period of the project end. These could include employment (new and safe-guarded jobs), new business activity or expansion of products and services and value for money delivered to customers.

IUK expects the majority of the technologies included to have been proven in a laboratory or vehicle environment prior to commencing the project. Projects should then aim to advance these technologies towards commercialisation.

Match Funding

Overall, each project will attract no more than 50% public funding of the total eligible project costs. IUK expects to fund mainly industrial research, in which large commercial partners will generally attract no more than 50% public funding for their project costs, medium-sized businesses up to 60%, small businesses up to 70% and research organisations up to 100%. Where experimental development is funded, a large commercial partner may attract no more than 25% funding, medium-sized businesses up to 35% and small businesses up to 45%.

Eligible Expenditure

The programme will fund a limited number of collaborative R&D pre-production project, covering industrial research and experimental development. Projects are expected to lead to significant reductions in vehicle CO2 emissions and improvements in air quality under operational conditions. Both CO2 and air quality improvements should be made with reference to comparable, best-in-class vehicles.

Applicants must show how the project will strengthen UK capability and develop the UK’s supply chain in the field of low carbon vehicles. Projects that will accelerate disruptive technologies towards market entry are particularly encouraged. APC6 is seeking proposals for collaborative research and development projects that demonstrate the development of technologies based around one or more of the following technology areas:

  • Internal combustion engines
  • Lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures
  • Electric machines and power electronics
  • Energy storage and energy management
  • Alternative propulsion systems

How To Apply


The competition opened on Monday 27 June 2016. Applicants were first required to register for the competition, by noon on 14 September 2016 (now passed). The deadline for receipt of all application forms was noon on 21 September 2016 (now passed).

Frequency: One-off.

Link to guidelines:


Useful information:

This is a single-stage competition. Applications for this competition will be managed by Innovate UK. It is anticipated that applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application in December 2016.