The Technology Strategy Board, through the Building Fuel Cell Manufacturing and the Supply Chain competition, will invest up to £5 million (US$7.9 million) through grant funding to encourage the development of manufacturing capabilities and novel supply-chain partnerships to support fuel cell production.
The aim is to enable businesses to make step changes in fuel cell production volumes and in lifetime cost reduction, through the innovative application of approaches and capabilities available from other business sectors or the academic community.
Up to £1 million ($1.6 million) is available for feasibility studies that explore the potential for innovative ideas and new partnerships as a precursor to further development.
A further £4 million ($6.3 million) will then be available for collaborative research and development, to take the most promising ideas forward in a second phase that will open once the feasibility projects have concluded.
And in a second competition, Supporting European Collaboration in Fuel Cells and Hydrogen, the Technology Strategy Board will invest up to £1 million in feasibility studies to encourage businesses working in fuel cell and hydrogen technologies to explore potential partnerships with EU businesses, as a precursor to further development.
The aim is to facilitate collaboration with potential European partners to enable the development of European supply chains, strengthen access to markets, and increase the level of UK business participation in EU programmes.
The competitions open on 26 November 2012, and the deadline for registration is 9 January 2013. Applications must then be received by 16 January 2013.
A briefing event will be held in London on 4 December 2012 to highlight the main features of the competitions and explain the application process.