Technology Strategy Board Announces Additional £10 Million To Push Commercialisation Of Low Carbon Vehicle Technologies

An additional £10 million of grant funding is to be made available to research, develop and demonstrate technologies that will achieve significant cuts in carbon emissions from road transport, following a government decision to provide supplementary finance through the Technology Strategy Board.

In October the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, announced that the government planned to invest a further £15 million in projects to accelerate the commercialisation of low carbon vehicles, through a competition for grant funding to be managed by the Technology Strategy Board (www.innovateuk.org).  The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (www.dft.gov.uk/topics/sustainable/olev/) is to provide additional grant funding and £25 million will now be available to UK businesses.

The additional investment in this funding competition follows the decision by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) to channel the funding it has available for low carbon vehicle technology research and development through the Technology Strategy Board, which is the government’s innovation agency.  This will see around £65 million of R&D grant funding from OLEV delivered to UK industry by the Technology Strategy Board in the four years to March 2015.

Transport Minister Norman Baker said:

“We need to continue to invest seriously in innovative research and development if we are to put the UK at the forefront of low carbon vehicle technology.  Strengthening our capabilities and adopting new technologies are vital if we are to make this country an attractive location for investment by global vehicle manufacturers and suppliers.

“Speeding up the commercialisation of low carbon vehicle technologies will contribute to achieving UK and EU climate change targets, help grow the     economy, create high value jobs and    provide significant global market opportunities for UK-based companies.”

The £25 million grant funding will be delivered through a collaborative R&D competition managed by the Technology Strategy Board, working closely with OLEV, which will provide £19 million of the funding.  As the Government grants will match-fund investment by the participating businesses, the total value of the research and development projects will be at least £50 million.

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, added:

“The decision by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles to channel future research and development funding through the Technology Strategy Board is recognition and validation of the important role we are playing co-ordinating low carbon vehicle innovation in the UK, from initial strategic academic research through to industry-led research, development and demonstration.”

The aim of the Low Carbon Vehicles: The road to market funding competition is to strengthen UK capability by encouraging a reduction of costs in the supply base and a faster adoption of new technologies on UK roads, with a focus on pulling technology through the various stages of the innovation chain.

Consortia applying for this funding will need to demonstrate that their project has the potential to build on the UK’s existing capabilities, give the UK a global competitive advantage and bring economic benefit to the country.  In particular, the consortia will need to show that their proposal:

Accelerates the introduction of highly innovative technologies that build on the UK’s capability and demonstrate a clear route to a viable market;     Shows technologies that support the delivery of current legislative and international emission targets;     Quantifies the scale of the expected CO2 savings relative to the technology target mass market application;     Provides evidence that the performance, durability, integrity and safety of any technology proposed will be in line with industry expectations.

Grants for each project are likely to range from £500,000 up to in excess of £5 million.  A networking event is planned for 10 January 2012, to present the scope of the funding competition and facilitate consortia-building.  The competition opens on 20 February 2012 and expressions of interest must be submitted by 28 March 2012.

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