Funding for projects to develop connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) testing infrastructure by UK business or research organisations, with the aim of creating the world's most effective CAV testing ecosystem by developing a number of distinct test capabilities.
A budget of up to £55 million has been allocated to this competition. This is divided up as:
- Stream 1: up to £35 million to support up to two projects
- Stream 2: up to £7 million to support a single project
- Stream 3: up to £13 million to support a single project
Preference will be given to projects that can deliver operational facilities and be open for business in 12 to 18 months.
IUK and the Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) are to invest up to £55 million in projects to develop connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) testing infrastructure. The aim is to create the world's most effective CAV testing ecosystem by creating a number of distinct test capabilities. CCAV is a joint policy unit set up by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Department for Transport. It has been established to help ensure that the UK is a world leader in developing and testing connected and autonomous vehicles.
Proposals should integrate existing proving grounds and public road test sites across the UK's existing automotive and technology heartlands. They should improve current capabilities and create new ones. The aim is to establish an open environment of projects to work together as part of a UK-wide initiative.
Funding is not available for:
- Crash and extreme condition handling (other than described in stream 3).
- Emissions testing only. (These facilities should be managed separately. They are encouraged for inclusion/integration for a holistic ULEV-CAV approach, but will not be eligible to attract grant funding in this competition.)
All projects in all streams must be collaborative and a UK business or research organisation must lead the project. The project must be carried in the UK. Collaborators can be other businesses, research organisations and/or third sector organisations.
To be considered collaborative, at least two organisations must be requesting grant funding from Innovate UK. Consortia should contain no more than five partners (ie the lead organisation plus four others).
Each partner in a project can receive funding towards their project costs - the funding is a percentage of the total eligible project costs and varies, depending on the type of organisation and the type of research. Projects with industry match funding within the investment stage of the project (that is, a 12 to 18 month build phase) will be preferred. All project partners must contribute a percentage of grant received to the CAV hub running costs.
Funding of up to 50% is available for businesses. Up to 100% of the eligible project costs are available to non-profit distributing research organisations.
The competition is split into three streams. Funding will be provided for:
Stream 1: up to two public test environments in an urban and/or highly dense city location.
Stream 2: a controlled test facility representative of an urban and/or city environment. Projects submitted in this stream may (but are not required to) include:
- Semi-controlled environments such as university campuses and science and industry parks where the semi-controlled nature of the facility can be clearly demonstrated.
- A virtual environment that includes physical elements, eg simulators.
Stream 3: a realistic, controlled high-speed, limit-handling environment. This environment will enable the creation of a diverse range of test scenarios, eg vehicle to everything (V2X) interactions, collision avoidance and limit handling. Projects submitted in this stream may (but are not required to) include a virtual environment that includes physical elements, such as simulators.
For all streams, linked proposals will be considered favourably if they save costs and improve outcomes.
The funders are seeking globally significant projects that allow for: testing of autonomous vehicles (AVs) in an appropriate and realistic environment; testing V2X connectivity capabilities and methodologies; and testing of equipment that may interact with CAVs, eg roadside infrastructure. It is expected that projects will provide core infrastructure that can support modular units to test different equipment. The core infrastructure system should be future-proofed as far as possible.
Facilities that support ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) compatibility, with features such as non-manual charging, will be preferred. Preference will be given to proposals that use existing test facilities.
The competition scope requests that any test facility site should be located within a defined area. CCAV research has identified the defined area as a UK area of excellence for CCAV innovation. This defined area is a rectangle that covers part of the West Midlands through to the south-east.
Lead applicants must first register with IUK via the website prior to making a full application.
Those who have registered will receive an email acknowledgement of the registration followed by a second email (up to 48 hours later) which will contain a username and password for IUK's secure upload facility along with a unique application number and form.
Once the username and password has been obtained the applicant can sign into the secure website to access the finance forms for this competition. The lead partner should submit the application form, project appendices (as PDF documents) labelled with the application number, partner finance forms for every non-academic partner in the project and Je-S submission PDF output document for every academic partner in the project.
An independent panel of experts will assess the applications and select the highest-quality projects.