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Environmental R&D competition announced

Up to £16.5m of funding is available in a new competition for R&D projects that will lead to significant reductions in CO2 emissions in road transport.

Business secretary Vince Cable announced the funding, which will be available in grants awarded to UK businesses through a new open competition. The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) will manage the competition, which has been developed with the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The competition will address the technological challenges in reducing emissions, as identified by the UK Automotive Council. Proposals should demonstrate potential to build on the UK’s existing capabilities, with economic benefit for the UK.

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.”

Transport minister Norman Baker added: “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.”

Iain Gray, chief executive of the TSB, said: “This emphasises the important role the Technology Strategy Board is playing co-ordinating low carbon vehicle innovation in the UK, from initial strategic academic research through to industry-led research, development and demonstration.” 

David Delpy, chief executive of the EPSRC, said: “It 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.”

The competition opens on February 18 and expressions of interest must be submitted by March 27.

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