Government funding of up to £16.5 million is to be made available for new research and development that will lead to significant reductions in CO2 emissions and position the UK at the forefront of low carbon vehicle technology.
The announcement was made by Business Secretary Vince Cable during a visit to the MIRA Technology Park in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.
Grants will be awarded to UK businesses through a new open competition for collaborative research and development funding, opening early next year, which will be managed by the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board (www.innovateuk.org), in partnership with the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
The Technology Challenges in Low Carbon Vehicles competition for collaborative R&D funding has been developed in conjunction with the UK Automotive Council and it addresses technology challenges that have been defined by the Council as areas that would benefit from increased investment in research and development.
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."
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. Helping the environment and boosting the economy go hand in hand."