Automotive Transformation Fund
UK registered businesses can apply for funding for capital centric investment projects that help industrialise the electrified automotive supply chain at scale in the UK.
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The Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) is an Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) programme that aims to establish a competitive and sustainable UK supply chain.It offers funding for capital and associated industrial research projects that support the industrialisation of a high value, electrified automotive supply at scale in the UK.This is an expression of interest (EoI) competition, which is the first stage in a two stage process. Your EoI application outlines your proposal and potential benefits to the UK. If your application is successful, you will be invited to progress to a full application for the ATF competition.In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadlines stated.You can submit your application for assessment at any time before 11am UK time on the final submission date stated.Submitted applications will be sent for assessment at 11am UK time on the following dates:
first submission: 07 June 2023
second submission: 06 September 2023
third submission date: 29 November 2023
Applications submitted after 11am on the first two dates will be sent for assessment on the next date.Further submission dates may be added at the discretion of the Department for Business and Trade, APC and Innovate UK.APC and Innovate UK may assess applications ahead of these deadlines and you will be informed if this is the case.
Your project’s total costs and project duration must be appropriate and in proportion to the planned objectives and prioritisation of the Automotive Transformation Fund.
Who can apply
Your total project costs and project duration must be strongly aligned to the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF). To be eligible your project must request a minimum of £1 million in grant against your total eligible project costs.
Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian or Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian or Belarusian source.
If your project’s total costs or duration falls outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to ATF@apcuk.co.uk at least 10 working days before a submission date to be considered for assessment. We will decide whether to approve your request. If you have not requested approval or your application has not been approved by us, you will be made ineligible. Your application will then not be sent for assessment.
To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:
be a UK registered business of any size
carry out its project work in the UK
intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
address the requirements of the Automotive Transformation Fund
More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.
Non-UK businesses can apply to this expression of interest (EoI) competition in reference to activities they are considering undertaking in the UK. The business must be registered in the UK before any funding can be awarded.
To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be a UK registered:
business of any size
public sector organisation
research and technology organisation (RTO)
Non-UK businesses can be invited to partner in this expression of interest (EoI) competition in reference to activities they are considering undertaking in the UK. The business must be registered in the UK before any funding can be awarded.
Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.
If you are a collaboration the lead and at least one other organisation must request funding when entering their costs during the application to this EoI competition.
If you are working in a collaboration the lead and at least one other organisation must request any funding awarded during stage two of this competition through the Department for Business and Trade Central Grants & Loans Team.
Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses.
Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.
Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.
You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.
You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.
All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.
Number of applications
There are no restrictions on the number of applications a business can lead or collaborate on in this EoI stage of the competition.
You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.
You can make a maximum of 2 submissions to Innovate UK with any given proposal. If Innovate UK judges that your proposal is not materially different from your previous proposal, it will be counted towards this maximum.
We will not award you funding if you have:
failed to exploit a previously funded project
an overdue independent accountant’s report
failed to comply with grant terms and conditions
Subsidy control (and State aid where applicable)
This competition will provide funding in line with the Subsidy Control Act 2022. Further information about the Subsidy requirements can be found within the Subsidy Control Act 2022 (legislation.gov.uk)
Innovate UK is unable to award organisations that are considered to be in financial difficulty. We will conduct financial viability and eligibility tests to confirm this is not the case following the application stage.
EU State aid rules now only apply in limited circumstances. Please see our general guidance to check if these rules apply to your organisation.
If you are unsure about your obligations under the Subsidy Control Act 2022 or the State aid rules, you should take independent legal advice. We are unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.
You must always make sure that the funding awarded to you is compliant with all current Subsidy Control legislation applicable in the United Kingdom.
This aims to regulate any advantage granted by a public sector body which threatens to, or actually distorts competition in the United Kingdom or any other country or countries.
Funding has been allocated for capital focused projects in this competition.
No funding is awarded at this EoI stage. Successful applicants from this EoI stage will be invited to a second full stage ATF competition. Funding for the full stage will be in the form of a grant.
Capital investment projects
Capital investment projects will be managed through the Department for Business and Trade Central Grants & Loans Team. For capital investment projects the grant available is dependent on the proposed project and will be determined during the second stage of the application process.
The grant requested should be the minimum required to ensure sustainability of the investment. Funding levels for associated research and development (R&D) costs are dependent on the size of your organisation. Further information on the process will be provided at the full stage.
If you are applying for an award funded under State aid Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.
Research organisation participation is allowed where research is integral to your capital centric project.
The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them.
Of that 30% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:
80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-S registered institution such as an academic
100% of your project costs if you are an RTO, charity, non-profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation
This is an expression of interest (EoI) competition. You must have a successful application in this competition before you can be invited to apply to the full stage competition. Any application to the full stage competition will be subject to a separate assessment, with no guarantee of funding support.
Your project must support the industrialisation at scale of an electrified automotive supply chain. It must be appropriate and in proportion to the planned objectives and prioritisation of the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF).
You should be looking to transform the automotive industry through significant business or production expansion. We expect your project to be centred around a product, process or technology that you have already demonstrated and have confirmed as technically and economically feasible.
Your application can be for:
capital investment only
capital and associated research and development (R&D) activity
Your proposal must prioritise the scale up in areas mentioned in the Automotive Transformation Strategy for an electrified supply chain. Your project must prioritise scale up and focus on one or more of the following:
batteries including cells (’gigafactories’)
electric motors and drives
upstream supply chain for, batteries including cells, electric motors and drives, power electronics or fuel cells
Your project must:
fit with the overall strategy of the ATF
offer value for money for the UK
have an ongoing benefit to the UK from the exploitation of your project
include deliverables such as time, cost and quality (including risks)
Only projects which score well against these criteria will receive funding from the ATF.
The ATF will prioritise support to projects that:
can act as anchors to their respective supply chains
are likely to lead to further investments while creating a sustainable and competitive supply chain for the future
The Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) will fund a portfolio of projects, across the technologies listed in the specific themes section. This portfolio and the technologies within are designed to be complimentary to the overall aim of the ATF. There may be occasions where a lower scoring project is supported, superseding a higher scoring application.
The APC can help you check whether your project fits the Automotive Transformation Fund. Contact the APC team at ATF@apcuk.co.uk to find out more.
Your project must focus on one or more of the following:
Batteries, including cells and gigafactories.
Cathode materials and manufacturing
anode materials and manufacturing
cell assembly components, including separators
Electric motors and drives
magnet materials and manufacturing
electrical steel materials and manufacturing
electrical machine assembly
drive line components
assembly and test into complete drive unit
wide band gap semi-conductors
power electronics assembly
Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA)
fuel cell stack assembly
Upstream Supply Chain including:
The Automotive Transformation Fund provides detailed information on the specific themes of this competition.
In the full stage competition, the Automotive Transformation Fund will fund:
capital investment through the Department for Business and Trade Central Grants & Loans Team
associated industrial research as defined in the guidance on categories of research and ‘Aid for research and development projects’
Projects we will not fund
We are not funding projects that:
do not transform the automotive industry through significant business or production expansion
are not centred around a product, process or technology that you have already demonstrated
are not confirmed as technically and economically feasible
have a primary focus on recycling
focus on a product or process development which is at prototype or early proof of concept stage
focus on assembly or components related to battery packs or battery modules, other than those listed in the specific themes section
focus on cell testing, module testing or battery pack testing
focus on fuel cell system components other than those listed in the specific themes section
focus on sub assembly manufacturing of air handling systems or balance of plant for fuel cells systems
focus on low-carbon fuels development
focus on the use of digital or data technologies such as software development
focus on Complete Knock Down (CKD) or final electric vehicle assembly
are related to charging infrastructure
support retail and wholesale fuel supply
support retail and wholesale energy supply
support speculative site enabling projects
are dependent on export performance
are dependent on domestic inputs usage
We are not funding projects that are only R&D.
27 March 2023 Competition opens
7 June 2023 First submission date
21 July 2023 First notification date
6 September 2023 Second submission date
20 October 2023 Second notification date
29 November 2023 Final submission close date
19 January 2024 Final notifications
No submission deadline. This is open-ended competition and applications can be submitted at any time.
How to apply
Before you start
You must read the guidance on applying for a competition on the Innovation Funding Service before you start.
You should also read specific information about the ATF programme before you start your application.
Before submitting, it is the lead applicant’s responsibility to make sure:
that all the information provided in the application is correct
your proposal meets the eligibility and scope criteria
all sections of the application are marked as complete
if collaborative, that all partners have completed all assigned sections and accepted the terms and conditions (T&Cs)
You can reopen your application once submitted, up until the competition deadline. You must resubmit the application before the competition deadline.
What we ask you
The application is split into 2 sections:
Accessibility and inclusion
We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and are committed to making our application process accessible to everyone. This includes providing support, in the form of reasonable adjustments, for people who have a disability or a long-term condition and face barriers applying to us. Read more on how we are making our application process more accessible and inclusive for everyone.
You must contact us as early as possible in the application process. We recommend contacting us at least 15 working days before the competition closing date to ensure we can provide you with the most suitable support possible.
You can contact us by emailing email@example.com or calling 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).
1. Project details
This section provides background for your application and is not scored.
Decide which organisations will work with you on your project and invite people from those organisations to help complete the application.
Give your project’s title, start date and duration.
Select the type of research you will undertake.
What are you seeking funding for? Type one of the following:
a capital investment project
a mixed capital and research and development (R&D) investment project
This section is mandatory, and it is a vital part of the application, setting the scene and providing assessors with a clear overview and feeding into the strategic scoring process.
Provide a summary of the objectives, in layman’s terms, and the output of the proposed project, covering the following elements:
output or results of the project specifically manufacturing capacity volumes and jobs created and safeguarded
amount of grant support requested
total anticipated budget
potential investment location if known
anticipated route to market
market opportunity being addressed
Your answer can be up to 300 words long.
2. Application questions
ATF assessors will score your application to determine if it aligns with the planned objectives and prioritisation of the Automotive Transformation Fund.
After your application has been assessed, a separate strategic score is given to your application by an ATF moderation panel. The assessors will score your answers for questions 2 to 8.
You will be notified if your application is successful or unsuccessful through your IFS dashboard and by email. You will not receive feedback through the Innovation Funding Service.
APC may choose to contact you directly to explain how you have met or have not met this criterion.
You must answer all questions. Your answer to each question can be up to 400 words long. Do not include any website addresses (URLs) in your answers.
Question 1. Applicant location (not scored)
You must state the name and full registered address of your organisation and any partners or subcontractors working on the project.
We are collecting this information to understand the geographical location of all applicants.
Question 2. Automotive Transformation Fund
How does your project align with the Automotive Transformation Fund?
Demonstrate how your project aligns to the competition objectives, associated focus areas and overall aims of the Automotive Transformation Fund, providing up to date evidence.
which area of the Automotive Transformation Fund your project will help deliver
your current role in the UK supply chain and how this project will change that
how your project will help delivery scale up in the UK
You can submit one appendix. It can include diagrams and charts. It must be a PDF, can be up to 2 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 3. Exploitation and dissemination
How will you exploit and disseminate your project results? What economic, social, and environmental benefits do you expect your project to deliver, and by when?
Include expected project outputs for:
number of jobs created and safeguarded
impact on the UK supply chain
training and skill development
spill-over into wider automotive industry and other sectors
Describe the expected environmental benefits as a result of this project.
Include an initial exploitation plan in the appendix.
You must submit one appendix. It can include diagrams and charts. It must be a PDF, can be up to 2 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 4. Technical approach and management
What technical approach will you use and how will you manage your project?
the technical approach, including the main objectives of the work
how you will improve on the nearest current state-of-the-art identified
how and why the approach is appropriate
how you will make sure the innovative steps in the project are achievable
how you will measure your success
the areas of work and your objectives
You can submit a work breakdown structure (including the cost of each work package). It must be a PDF, as one A4 page and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 5. Market awareness
What does the market you are targeting look like?
the target markets for the project outcomes, any other potential markets (domestic, international or both)
the size of the target markets for the project outcomes, backed up by references where available
the structure and dynamics of the target markets, including customer segmentation, together with predicted growth rates within clear timeframes
the target markets’ main supply or value chains and business models, and any barriers to entry that exist
the current UK position in targeting these markets
the size and main features of any other markets not already listed
If your project is highly innovative, where the market may be unexplored, describe or explain:
what the market’s size might be
how your project will try to explore the market’s potential
Question 6. Skills, experience, and facilities
Does your proposed project team have the right skills and experience to deliver this project?
Demonstrate that the likely project team:
has the right mix of skills and experience to complete the project
has a track record in managing capital and research and development projects
has clear objectives and roles or responsibilities
If appropriate include access to facilities to enable the successful delivery of the project.
If you are part of a consortium, describe the benefits of the collaboration. What does being part of a consortium offer the project?
Question 7. Adding value
How does financial support from the Automotive Transformation Fund add value to the UK? What will happen to the project in the absence of funding?
Answer the following questions:
Why do you need this funding?
Explain what other sources of funding have been considered, including private investment, and why it is not available.
2. What will happen to the project in the absence of funding?
Describe and provide evidence for what will occur if the application for funding is not successful.
Question 8. Finances
Provide us with estimates of your project’s eligible costs, including any partner’s costs and the grant funding you are seeking. If your proposal includes R&D and capital investment, you must separate these costs out.
Type ‘table attached’ as your answer and give your estimates in a table as an attached appendix. The table must clearly list details of the total eligible costs and total funding requested for this project.
With a capital only grant request, provide a breakdown of costs associated with build, fit out, equipment and other costs.
If R&D costs are also included, provide an additional breakdown of costs.
Give your table the following headings:
country where work is being carried out
eligible costs (£)
funding sought (£)
Where there is more than one organisation involved, please ensure a similar table is completed for each partner. The funding sought by a partner can be zero.
You must submit a summary of your estimated costs as a table. It must be submitted as a single PDF or spreadsheet, no larger than 10MB in size with one A4 page for each partner. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.