New funding & sixth spoke for Advanced Propulsion Centre

Posted on 9 Dec 2015 by Jonny Williamson

The Advanced Propulsion Centre has revealed the ‘Launch of Round 5 Competition’ for APC Funding and the new Electric Machine Spoke at the University of Newcastle.

APC 5 seeks proposals for collaborative research and development projects that deliver significant reductions in vehicle emissions compared to the current best-in-class technologies.

APC-Spokes-Infographic-2015All projects must be business-led and include a vehicle manufacturer or Tier 1 supplier and an SME.

The first four rounds of APC funding have engaged with more than 50 organisations and have supported innovative projects with circa £90m of grant funding.

Round 5 is expected to generate a total of £70m of co-investment funding from Government and industry.

Chief executive of the APC, Ian Constance commented: “The UK automotive industry has a significant opportunity to build on its existing strengths in powertrain engineering and low carbon innovation to seize global competitiveness.

“The opening of APC 5, the latest grant funding competition, will create £70m investment in collaborative projects. Each programme we invest in has the power to enhance the UK’s position as a Propulsion Nation and ultimately contribute to the UK’s economic prosperity.”

Constance also announced the latest addition to the APC hub and spoke network, bringing the total number of spokes to six and focusses on those communities specialising in Electric Machines.

Each spoke brings together industry and academia to support the development of the UK’s low carbon vehicle capability.

Newcastle joins five current spokes, including:

  • Digital Engineering and Test (Loughborough University – London)
  • Electrical Energy Storage (University of Warwick)
  • Power Electronics (University of Nottingham)
  • Internal Combustion Engines (University of Bath & University of Brighton)

Operating an open and inclusive network created to focus on strategic automotive technologies and act as a conduit to the UK’s expertise and resources, the spoke is a community of key academic and industrial parties.

Their role supports the development of the UK’s advanced propulsion supply chain by disseminating industrial challenges to the community, supporting the development of consortia for funding competitions, and actively engaging in the promotion of the community and its outputs.

Constance continued: “The APC Spoke Network provides the forum for industry and academia to come together as communities of common interest.

“They act as an enabler maximising opportunities for the development and production of low carbon propulsion technology. I am delighted to announce that the University of Newcastle has been selected to coordinate communities in Electric Machines.”

The APC Spokes provide access to expertise in specialist technologies, signposting and promoting UK capabilities whilst providing networking opportunities to build consortia.

Infographic - impact of APC investments committed so far.

The lead academic institution for each APC Spoke will coordinate the activity including the creation of a steering group, providing a collaborative environment for all interested parties and helping to develop the relevant technology roadmaps by providing input, through the APC, to the Automotive Council.

Director of the Newcastle Spoke, Dr James Widmer said: “The University has worked on the development of electrical machines for many years, and over the last decade has had a significant focus on fundamental research and supporting industry in the development of traction motors and auxiliary motors for low carbon vehicles.

“The Newcastle spoke will bring together leading academic and industrial researchers to build on the existing APC network and help position the UK as a world leader in this increasingly important field.