Grants will be awarded to UK businesses through a new open competition for collaborative research and development funding, which will be managed by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board, in partnership with the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The Technology Challenges in the Low Carbon Vehicles competition addresses technology challenges that have been defined by the Council as areas that would benefit from increased investment in research and development.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Close collaboration between industry and government, through the UK Automotive Council, will help ensure the projects this initiative funds will address important technology challenges and help to strengthen UK capability in low carbon. It’s an example of our industrial strategy in action.

“Supporting the development of new technologies is vital to ensure this country remains such an attractive location for investment by global vehicle manufacturers and suppliers.

The Technology Strategy Board, OLEV and the EPSRC are seeking proposals for highly innovative, industry-led projects involving low carbon vehicles that aim to achieve significant cuts in CO2.

Projects may also take on higher risk technology challenges to support a higher return on investment for the auto industry and aggressively attack future CO2 challenges.

Transport Minister, Norman Baker MP, said: “The investment being announced today will strengthen the UK’s position at the cutting edge of low carbon vehicle technology, help create new high technology jobs and increase global opportunities for UK businesses. Investment like this will deliver long-term benefits for both the environment and the UK economy.”

Chief executive of the EPSRC, David Delpy, said: “[This initiative] shows how we can combine the wealth of academic research in the UK with the innovative traits of business to bring real world benefits both economic and environmental”.

Proposals should demonstrate the potential to build on the UK’s existing capabilities, targeting global competitive advantage and economic benefit for the UK.

Leigh Stringer

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