The winners securing a share of a recent £3.9 million investment for low carbon development and demonstration projects in the niche vehicle sector have been announced.
Thirty projects have been successful in receiving grant funding from the Niche Vehicle Network competitions, collectively supported by Innovate UK, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).
Winning projects include:
· Development of clean, extended-range tyres for electric vehicles made from advanced natural materials
· Design of a carbon composite motorcycle frame with minimal component count and optimised shape for strength, stiffness and space envelope
· Development of a novel low-cost, 3-wheeled, multi-passenger, electric vehicle platform
· Production of prototype titanium brake calipers, via a low-cost, high-efficiency manufacturing process
· Design, development, prototyping and testing of a novel and innovative high specific output 48v electric machine and energy storage system
· Development of an autonomous road sweeper using the latest sensor and mapping technology
· Design validation and manufacturing process development of air bearings, to deliver oil-free turbochargers
All of the projects will receive 50% of their project costs, and will cover the balance of the project costs with their own resources. All of the projects are collaborative between at least three UK-based companies active in the low carbon vehicle technology sector.
The Niche Vehicle Network provides support for innovation and new product development to UK low volume vehicle manufacturers, including premium brand sports cars and specialist commercial vehicles, specialist suppliers and technology companies.
Funds of £2.4 million have been awarded for early market low carbon technology demonstration projects through the Niche Vehicle R&D Competition and a further £1.5 million to establish specialised UK manufacturing capability and supply chains for new products via the SME Production Readiness Competition.
Announcing the winners at LCV 2017, Paul Gadd, Head of Automotive at Innovate UK, said: “Congratulations to this year’s winning companies. We are delighted to continue our long standing support for the NVN competition in partnership with the Office for Low Emission Vehicles. This important R&D funding for these collaborative niche vehicle projects helps drive innovation across the automotive sector.”
Ian Constance, Chief Executive Officer at the Advanced Propulsion Centre, announcing the winners for the SME & Supply Chain Development competition, added: “The UK is incredibly innovative and we have exceptional capabilities in our SMEs. It is hugely important that we continue to provide support and this latest round of funding will help bring SME’s technologies closer to commercialisation.”
Programme Director for the Network, Viv Stephens, said: “This is our tenth year of supporting collaborative innovation projects and is the largest competition we have ever held. The quality of the projects which have been approved is truly outstanding and we look forward to seeing them come to fruition in 2018. The support we have had from our sponsoring organisations has been unswerving and the UK niche vehicle sector is going from strength to strength as a result.
Further details of all successful projects can be found on the Niche Vehicle Network website at www.nichevehiclenetwork.co.uk