Over £50 million awarded to cutting edge manufacturing projects
Cutting edge projects in battery, self-driving and automotive R&D will receive millions in funding, driving innovation in energy storage and self-driving technologies
Over £50 million of government funding has been awarded to 30 cutting-edge manufacturing projects including rapid-charging motorcycles and self-driving cars, cementing the UK as the best location in the world to manufacture.
The funding will boost the UK’s innovation of clean, green technologies, helping to create jobs and grow the economy.
£11 million of government grant funding through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) is being awarded to 12 fast-start projects aiming to accelerate product development of motorcycles, buses, cars and more. With industry match-funding, projects will receive a total of £22.7 million to develop innovative automotive products within 12 months.
Winners include White Motorcycle Concepts, who are developing a fully operational, rapid-charge first responder motorcycle for use by emergency services, Dolphin N2 who are creating a tractor fuelled by hydrogen made on the farm from renewables, and Wrightbus who are accelerating the development of zero-emission hydrogen fuel-cell electric coaches.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said:
"From farm tractors fuelled by hydrogen to rapid-charge first responder motorcycles, these projects receiving funding today show we are not short of innovators in this country.
"By supporting growth in the industries of the future, including through better regulation, we are delivering on our plan to get the economy growing and make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business."
Minister for Industry and Economic Security Nusrat Ghani said:
"The UK automotive sector is at the cutting edge of exploiting innovative technologies. These have the potential to create jobs, grow the economy and accelerate how we reach net-zero. This package of funding will help industry and government work together and take decisive action in targeting areas where the UK is leading the way.
"We are providing over £50 million of government funding to support 30 groundbreaking projects. This government has shown time and time again that we are committed to creating the right conditions to make the UK the best location in the world to manufacture."
Acknowledging the huge potential of self-driving technologies, the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) is also providing £18.5 million of R&D grant funding for 43 British companies. 13 projects are developing self-driving technologies, products and services ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and transforming the ways people and goods are moved across the nation.
Winners include Wayve who are developing methods to evidence the safety of AI in self-driving technology, supporting our work to ensure self-driving capabilities are safe, Nissan who are further developing their self-driving capability in towns and cities, and Zero Point Motion who are developing a revolutionary automotive sensor that will change how self-driving vehicles position themselves in the real world.
Decarbonisation and Technology Minister Jesse Norman said:
"Self-driving vehicles have the potential to transform how we get around, making journeys safer, more convenient and more accessible while also creating skilled jobs.
"These grant winners underline how the UK is at the cutting edge in developing automated technologies that are not only innovative but have safety at their heart."
The Faraday Institution will also invest £19 million in four key battery research projects and drive innovation. The projects include Nextrode that is focused on developing new ways to manufacture electrodes (an important battery subcomponent) to make batteries cost less and perform better, and NEXGENNA, aiming to improve the performance of sodium-ion batteries – a technology with significant advantages around sustainability, safety and cost.
The Faraday Battery Challenge (FBC), delivered by Innovate UK, has awarded £3.2 million to three leading universities to help the UK’s regional battery industries by addressing their skills needs. This will ensure that the UK becomes a leader in the shift towards electrification and maintains a strong global position in the industry.
The FBC has awarded £700,000 to Coventry University to lead a group that will create the National Electrifications Skills Forum and Framework (NESFF). The NESFF will support the UK’s manufacturing competitive advantage in electrification by ensuring that the right skills are identifiable and accessible across sectors and nations.
University College Birmingham and Newcastle University will each get a share of £2.5 million to run the Battery Workforce Training Initiative in their local areas.
£5.5 million will also be used to establish a Medicines Manufacturing Skills Centre of Excellence, boosting the training provision needed to support growth, create jobs, and respond to future health emergencies.
The Government is committed to the future of UK manufacturing, maintaining a competitive business environment and reducing the burden on business.
The manufacturing sector plays a vital role in the UK’s economy and the Chancellor has identified advanced manufacturing as one of five key growth sectors.
The Business and Trade Secretary has had extensive engagement with the manufacturing sector and continues to secure key investment in the UK’s manufacturing base, including Tata’s recent £4 billion investment in the UK to build a gigafactory, creating thousands of jobs.