Innovate UK’s Driving the Electric Revolution challenge, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £4.5 million in projects building talent for the future.

The aim of this competition is to create and deliver course content and materials that will support skills, talent and training across Power Electronics, Machines and Drives (PEMD) manufacturing and supply chains; building awareness of PEMD and filling key gaps in the UK’s workforce talent and training capabilities.

Opportunities could include but are not limited to:

  • schools’ engagement
  • apprenticeships and internships
  • upskilling and reskilling of existing workforce
  • technical courses and vocational training
  • undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing professional development (CPD)

This is an expression of interest (EoI) stage of a two stage competition. There is no funding at this EoI stage. If you are successful in this stage, you will be invited to apply into the full stage competition.

We will also be running a separate open competition for projects with costs below £50,000. To apply for this, you do not need to complete this expression of interest stage.

The full stage competitions will open in March 2022.

Your proposal must deliver a clear, game-changing intervention and address a clear industrial requirement. This would realistically and significantly meet and provide a long-term commitment to supporting the UK PEMD industry talent requirement.

If your application is successful in this EoI stage, you will be invited to apply into the full stage competition. This competition is open to single applicants and collaborations.

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £50,000 and £1 million (up to 70% of these costs can be covered by the grant funding, depending on business size)
  • start by 1 October 2022
  • end by 31 March 2025
  • last between 6 and 30 months
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

Partners can come from any of the above categories. Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses.

An organisation can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications. If an organisation is not leading any application, it can collaborate in up to 3 applications.

Your project must focus on one or more of the following:

  • defining and filling key gaps in the UK’s PEMD manufacturing and supply chain workforce and training capability
  • producing industry compatible training programs in PEMD
  • promoting skills in design for manufacture and design for assembly
  • increasing interaction between academia or training establishments and industry to ensure skills streams for the future, including: apprenticeships, internships, sandwich courses
  • delivering academic courses or practical training areas such as: schools’ engagement, upskilling and reskilling of existing workforce, technical courses and vocational training, undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing professional development (CPD)
  • improving the quality and capacity of existing training delivery
  • outreach and engagement material focusing on PEMD for all ages and levels in academia and industry
  • supporting and promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion within PEMD technology training, manufacturing, or research
  • providing training or incentives for training to specific underrepresented groups of people or in specific training subjects

Innovate UK KTN held an online applicant briefing event on 12th January: watch the recording here and find the slides here.