Driving the Change Towards Net Zero: Apply for Funding

Businesses can apply for a share of £15 million to catalyse the green economic recovery in transport, energy and industrial sectors


The UK is seeking to put green technologies at the heart of economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.


The manufacturing of power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD) required across sectors present a significant global growth opportunity for UK companies.


Further, zero-emission vehicle technologies are a key part of the country’s efforts to meet its carbon reduction targets.


The government has launched the £80 million Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge to help businesses to meet this need.


The Challenge will accelerate the UK’s ability to deliver; next-generation electric vehicles, hybrid aircraft, energy generation, smart grids, robotics & industrial drives, consumer products, low-carbon off-highway vehicles for construction and agriculture, low-carbon maritime and rail supporting the realisation of Net Zero targets through clean innovation.


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, has up to £15 million co-funded from Driving the Electric Revolution and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) to support business-led research that will develop supply chains and manufacturing capability for PEMD technologies across all sectors and support the development of new technologies that enable zero-emission vehicles. The funding competition has 2 strands.


Dr Will Drury, Challenge Director for Driving the Electric Revolution said: “This competition is an exciting opportunity for UK businesses to engage with Driving the Electric Revolution, collaborate and innovate delivering clean growth of the UK Power Electronics, Machines and Drives (PEMD) supply chains.


“The projects that we fund will catalyse the development of manufacturing capability and resilient supply chains for PEMD activities: the building blocks for all sectors undergoing electrification. Driving the Electric Revolution will facilitate the economic growth opportunities from the shift to Net Zero carbon emissions and ensure the UK is placed to deliver and grow the sovereign supply chains of the future.”


Strand 1: Projects must develop PEMD supply chain improvements

Up to £5 million is available to support business-led projects that aim to improve the UK supply chain for power electronics, machines, and drives.


Projects could work on one or more of the following:

  • manufacturing process development such as improving productivity, implementing new tools, automating processes, reconfiguring processes to improve productivity or flexibility

  • design for manufacture such as designing or redesigning a product for more efficient production, specification of a manufacturing process, improvements in modelling and simulation software, developments to allow manufacture of products with recycling taken into consideration

  • circular economy approaches such as scale-up of processes for recycling and recovery of materials, lifecycle and embedded carbon analysis, and waste reduction and process energy efficiency

  • innovative testing and validation such as virtual product validation, and scale-up or automation of testing and validation processes

Competition Information

  • the competition is open, and the deadline for applications is at 11am on 29 July 2020

  • businesses of any size may apply and must work with at least one other organisation

  • we expect projects to range in size between £100,000 and £500,000 and last between 3 and 9 months

  • view the online briefing event

Find out more about this competition and apply


Strand 2: work must target zero or very low emissions

Up to £10 million is available to support feasibility studies and research and development projects looking to develop technologies for zero emission vehicles or that target emissions significantly lower than 75g of CO2 per km. Projects developing electric vehicle charging are also eligible for support.


Projects must build on a previous research project or feasibility study and could work on niche or mainstream vehicles including motorcycles, cars, goods vehicles and emergency vehicles.

Work could include:

  • battery technologies

  • electrification of conventional powertrains

  • hybridisation technologies

  • technologies that increase the efficiency of powertrain or auxiliary systems

  • hydrogen technologies

  • range extender technologies

  • EV charging services including charging solutions, roaming, integration and grid services

Competition Information

  • the competition is open, and the deadline for applications is at 11am on 29 July 2020

  • businesses of any size may apply, and they can work alone or with up to 2 other organisations

  • we expect projects to range in size between £100,000 and £500,000 and last up to 6 months

  • an online briefing event takes place on 22 June 2020

Find out more about this competition and apply