Mobility sector leads £50m government funding push

More than £50m has been awarded to over 30 different UK manufacturing projects, with the core focus on battery, autonomy and advanced automotive technologies.

The WMC300FR blue light motorcycle
The WMC300FR blue light motorcycle - White Motorcycle Concepts

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) will distribute £11m of the government grant to 12 fast-start projects, with industry match-funding meaning a total of £22.7m will be received. Recipients include White Motorcycle Concepts, which is developing a rapid-charge first responder electric motorcycle for use by emergency services, Dolphin N2, which is creating a hydrogen-powered tractor, and Northern Ireland’s Wrightbus, which manufactures zero-emission coaches.

Elsewhere, the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) is providing £18.5m of R&D grant funding. Winners include Nissan, self-driving specialists Wayve, and Bristol’s Zero Point Motion, which is developing an automotive sensor that will change how self-driving vehicles position themselves in the real world.

“The UK automotive sector is at the cutting edge of exploiting innovative technologies,” said minister for Industry and Economic Security, Nusrat Ghani. “These have the potential to create jobs, grow the economy and accelerate how we reach net-zero.

“We are providing over £50m of government funding to support 30 groundbreaking projects…This package of funding will help industry and government work together and take decisive action in targeting areas where the UK is leading the way.”

Battery technology is also set to benefit from the funding boost, with The Faraday Institution investing £19m in four key research projects. These include Nextrode, which is developing new ways to manufacture electrodes, and NEXGENNA, aiming to improve the performance of sodium-ion batteries. University College Birmingham and Newcastle University will each get a share of £2.5m to run the Battery Workforce Training Initiative in their local areas, while £5.5m will also be used to establish a Medicines Manufacturing Skills Centre of Excellence.