Innovate UK fuels battery tech advancements with £1.5 million funding opportunity

  • Innovate UK announces £1.5 million funding for UK battery SMEs via UKBIC SME Credit Round 2.
  • Up to 45% cost coverage available; SMEs must demonstrate innovation readiness and strategic engagement with UKBIC.
  • Single application allowed, emphasizing a push towards commercial viability in battery technology.

Innovate UK propels the nation’s upcoming EV tech advancements with £1.5 million in funding

Innovate UK, in conjunction with the Faraday Battery Challenge, has unveiled a £1.5 million funding opportunity tailored for micro, small, and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) SME Credit Round 2 emerges as a pivotal initiative, providing a springboard for SMEs to elevate their innovations.

Registrations are open now. Participants must act swiftly as the registration window shuts on 06/03/2024.

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Successful applicants stand to secure a share of the £1.5 million earmarked for projects engaging with the UKBIC. The financial framework is nuanced. Funding ranges from £70,000 to £300,000 for digital/software initiatives and £100,000 to £1 million for processing projects. This offers a substantial boost for SMEs navigating the complex terrain of battery technology.

Divergent Strands

The competition unfolds in two distinctive strands, each with a unique focus:

UKBIC SME Credit Round 2 – Processing for Electrode and Cells

UKBIC SME Credit Round 2 – Digital or Software

Navigating these strands demands precision, as Innovate UK underscores that misdirected submissions won’t undergo assessment.

Critical Project Imperatives:
  • Innovation Readiness: A fundamental requirement mandates that all projects demonstrate a technology readiness level (TRL) of 5 or above.
  • Sole Application: SMEs may apply once. Subcontractors are welcomed, with UKBIC occupying the primary subcontractor slot.
  • Cost Dynamics: Grant funding costs must primarily be tethered to subcontracting, with UKBIC leading subcontracting endeavours.

Essential Proposal Elements:

Potential applicants are must craft proposals that vividly articulate:

  • The present maturity of their projects, spotlighting scale, yield, and quality.
  • A comprehensive validation narrative elucidating the work invested to establish technology viability at its current maturity level.
  • Strategic alignment with UKBIC’s giga-scale pilot-line facilities, ensuring material and scale compatibility.
  • A well-thought-out roadmap detailing how the project will expedite the route to market, coupled with robust customer engagement strategies.

While UKBIC operates with advanced lithium iron (Li-ion) processes, potential applicants should note that solid-state processes are currently not feasible on the existing line.

This funding opportunity transcends mere financial injections; it’s an invitation for SMEs to shape the trajectory of battery technology in the UK. This opportunity is there to be seized. The winners will become trailblazers, transforming their innovations from conceptualisation to commercial reality.

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