The Technology Strategy Board is to invest up to £5m to encourage the development of manufacturing capabilities and novel supply-chain partnerships to support the production of fuel cells in the UK. We aim to enable businesses to make step changes in production volumes and in lifetime cost reduction through innovative application of approaches and capabilities available from other business sectors or the academic community.
Up to £1m is available for feasibility studies that explore the potential for innovative ideas and new partnerships as a precursor to further development. Up to £4m will be available for collaborative research and development to take the most promising ideas forward in a second competition that will open once the feasibility projects have concluded. The second CR&D competition will be open to successful feasibility projects and other organisations.
The feasibility studies aim to promote innovation in potential subsequent secondphase projects, facilitate collaboration in supply-chain development and mitigate the risk in forming new partnerships between sectors unfamiliar with each other. Projects must be business-led and collaborative and last up to four months. Total costs must not exceed £35k. Participants will be required to present their results at a collaboration event.
The competition for feasibility studies opens on 26 November 2012. The deadline for registration is at noon on 9 January 2013 and the deadline for receipt of applications is at noon on 16 January 2013. A briefing day for potential applicants will be held in London on 4 December 2012. A collaboration event to enable networking with potential partners will be held in London on 23 November 2012.
Up to a further £1m is available in a parallel competition for feasibility studies for businesses wishing to explore potential partnerships with EU businesses in preparation for further R&D within EU programmes. Details of this competition, Supporting European collaboration in fuel cells and hydrogen, are available here.