Inventors and innovators developing the ‘next big thing’ in zero-emission tailpipe technology for cars, buses and heavy-duty vehicles, have received a major boost today after the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) confirmed 11 small to medium enterprises (SMEs) have been awarded a combined total of up to £1.48 million, provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to help bring their ideas to life.

As part of APC’s Technology Developer Accelerator Programme (TDAP) each company will receive up to £135,000 to help take their concept a step closer to being used by the automotive industry and helping drive the UK towards a net-zero emissions future.

It’s seen as a welcome boost for the SMEs in what, for some, has been a tough year, as Josh Denne, Head of SME programmes explains: “The past 12 months have been difficult for the automotive sector, with COVID-19 and shortages of some key materials, it’s been challenging for all parts of the supply chain, not least those small to medium enterprises trying to turn their green automotive innovation into a commercially viable product.

“However, the need to decarbonise transport has never been more important. With the UK government setting world-leading targets to clean up on and off-highway vehicles, and transport featuring heavily in their Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution, there’s an opportunity here for UK companies to really make a difference.”

The support isn’t just about funding the technology development. APC are keen to ensure that these ideas turn into a commercial success as Josh goes on to explain: “The winners of this competition demonstrated that their technology enables the shift towards net-zero emissions vehicles, but our aim is to provide successful applicants with a systematic, phased approach to building their businesses – a 360-degree programme of support to help great ideas flourish in a commercial space.

“So alongside the funding we will link the winning technology developers with a range of industry experts – or as we call them, Delivery Partners – providing developers with practical guidance and mentorship on everything from protecting their intellectual property rights, attracting investors and PR and marketing.

“We’d like to see these great ideas grow into next-generation products, ultimately leading to more to CO2 savings, more jobs created and contributing to the push towards net-zero as the UK cements itself as a leader in innovative propulsion technology.”

The winners of the funding support include:

Composites Evolution – Derbyshire
Using plant-based composite materials to replace conventional materials for next-generation lightweight vehicle structures that will lead to increased vehicle range.

Ben Hargreaves, Sales and Marketing Director, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to join the Advanced Propulsion Centre’s Technology Developer Acceleration programme. We see big potential in our novel bio-based composite materials and we’re looking forward to working with the TDAP team to help us bring the technology to market.”

D2H Advanced Technologies – Buckingham
Developing faster, more flexible simulation to compare battery performance (AMMBa) to cut cost and speed up timescales.

Chris Hebert, Engineering Director of D2H Advanced Technologies Ltd, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that the Advanced Propulsion Centre has chosen to support D2H Advanced Technologies’ innovative and pioneering work in battery modelling through their TDAP programme. Such grant funding, coupled with professional support, will be instrumental in helping us to deliver a market leading product.”