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Innovate UK: funding competition for connected and autonomous vehicles

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Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, has announced a new competition for grant funding, with a budget of up to £35 million, for research and development of new connected and autonomous vehicle technologies. Funding for this competition comes from the Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) (up to £30 million) and Innovate UK (£5 million).

Projects need to provide technical solutions for connected and autonomous vehicle features which should provide real-world benefits to users, including the role of these vehicles as part of a wider transport system. Proposals must show a clear commercial benefit.

This competition is in 4 streams:

  • Stream 1 will fund a large-scale challenge to develop and demonstrate a vehicle operating at SAE level 4 automation (“high automation”). 1 or 2 projects are expected to be funded, with projects having total costs of £15 to £30 million and lasting 18 to 30 months.
  • Streams 2, 3, and 4 will fund feasibility studies and industrial research and development projects. Projects should have total costs of £250,000 to £5 million and last between 12 and 30 months.

Funding for this competition is divided up as:

  • £15 million to fund a large-scale challenge in Stream 1 (one or two projects maximum)
  • £15 million to fund projects in Stream 2 and Stream 3
  • £5 million to fund projects in Stream 4

Funding may be moved between streams to ensure that it distributed across the priority areas.

Projects not eligible for funding include those covering other modes of transport (such as rail, marine, etc.) outside the automotive space. Costs for the supporting systems required to enable vehicle technology are eligible, but projects where infrastructure or supporting systems are the primary cost are not in scope.

The proportion of your project that can be funded by Innovate UK depends on the type of project. All projects in all streams must be collaborative and a business must lead the project. Full details and application procedures are at the Innovate UK website

Companies wishing to apply for this funding competition must register with Innovate UK by noon on 2nd November 2016, and apply by noon on 9th November 2016. Many companies choose to work with a specialist consultancy for their grant applications, and this may be particularly important for this competition as Innovate UK’s application process and evaluation criteria have recently changed. If your company would like to work with Myriad Associates for your application for this grant, please contact us as soon as possible, as we would need to have an agreement in place with your company by no later than 9th October 20116.

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