Driving the electric revolution competition invests in net zero manufacturing tech

Innovate UK has awarded £5.8m in funding to 12 projects that scale-up the manufacturing of underpinning net zero technologies to increase UK industrial resilience.

Driving the electric revolution summary

UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge Fund delivered by Innovate UK is funding the manufacturing of power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD) products that are essential enablers of the UK’s transition to a net zero carbon economy.

The PEMD scale-up competition overview

This new investment will help develop a strong UK supply base for new electrical machines, controllers and the semiconductors they rely on, creating new UK jobs and greater supply chain resilience.

Of the successful applicants, over half are first time recipients of grant funding from the Driving the electric revolution programme, which demonstrates just how much this vital community is continuing to grow.

This competition is providing grant funding for feasibility studies for adopting manufacturing best practice (strand one) and manufacturing process development (strand two).

The competition aims to improve impactful net zero technologies including:

  • materials processing
  • sub-component and component manufacturing
  • sub-system integration and assembly
  • final assembly of PEMD specific modules
  • remanufacturing
  • end of life disassembly and recycling

UK net zero ambitions

Venn Chesterton, Deputy Challenge Director of the Driving the electric revolution challenge at Innovate UK said:

This competition is great for the UK’s Net Zero ambitions as it will ensure that we manufacture more solutions to the net zero challenges in the UK. It showcases the commitment of the Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge to invest in the supply chain and manufacturing capability which will underpin growth in several key industries.

I’m particularly proud of how well the investment sits alongside the continued support for the UK semiconductor industry, through the National semiconductor strategy and the critical minerals community, through the CLIMATES programme.

Mike Biddle, Executive Director, Net Zero, Innovate UK said:

Investment in electrification technologies, including power electronics, machines and drives is crucial to meet the UK’s net zero goals. This will drive growth and create and support the industries and high-quality jobs of today and tomorrow.

The PEMD scale-up competition project winners

The Driving the Electric Revolution team are pleased to announce that the following 12 projects have been awarded £5.8 million in grant funding.

PEMD scale-up: strand one, adopting manufacturing best practice competition winners

Lignin thermal devices for automotive power electronics

Carbon Forest Products Ltd and the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult.

Feasibility study for developing a 3D graphite heat sink for use in automotive thermal management systems.

POWERDRIVE: Novel POWER moDule aRchItecture for cost effectiVE PEMD manufacture

Dycotec Materials Ltd and the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult.

Development of a reduced cost, high-performance power module using additive processes.

Adopting best practice in manufacturing automation for scalable UK-based production of smart EV chargers

Hypervolt Ltd and BM Injection Ltd.

Adoption of best practices in automation and robotics to produce electric vehicles (EV) chargers.

PEMD scale-up: strand two, manufacturing process development competition winners

Superior windings for alternators and generators (SWAG)

McLaren Applied, the University of Warwick and Peregrine MLS Ltd.

New processes for optimising the production of stator windings of high-performance alternators.

Fast agile copper turns and robotic agnet placement (FACTOREM)

Magnomatics Limited, the University of Warwick and Global Technologies Racing Limited.

Automating the coil winding, magnet placement and rotor carbon fibre banding processes of rotating electrical machines.

SOLEM-MO: scalable optimised lightweight electric motor, manufacturing optimisation

Formtech Composite Limited and Newcastle University.

Development of manufacturing infrastructure for ultra-lightweight electrical machines.

Scale-up of coil winding and magnet assembly manufacturing processes for a rare earth-free permanent magnet generator

Greenspur Wind Limited, the University of Birmingham, Hirst Magnetic Instruments Limited and B.C. Electrical Techniques Limited.

Scale-up of coil winding and magnet assembly manufacturing processes for a rare earth-free permanent magnet generator.

High efficiency electrical machines enabled by a new UK additive manufacturing PEMD supply chain

Technelec Limited, the University of Bristol and Alloyed Limited.

The use of additive manufacturing for improving the performance of high-power density electric motors.

ELEGaNT: ELEvating GaN technologies

Supply Design Limited, the University of Edinburgh, GSPK Circuits Limited and Custom Interconnect Limited.

Building a UK supply chain to produce GaN-based power semiconductor modules.

EB-eDrive

Aquasium Technology Limited and Ford Technologies Ltd.

Automation and scale-up of electron beam welding for the joining of copper and aluminium components for electrical machines.

Project FCDC

Viritech Ltd and the Manufacturing Technology Centre.

Design of a novel high-volume DC-DC converter for high volume fuel cell powered EVs.

Mag-cure: a novel method for magnetically induced bonding and de-bonding of thermoset adhesives in the automotive industry

Expert Tooling & Automation Limited and Impact Laboratories Limited.

A novel method for magnetically induced bonding and de-bonding of thermoset adhesives in the automotive industry.

Find out more

The Driving the Electric Revolution team hopes you have enjoyed discovering more about the PEMD scale-up competition winners. To find out more, make sure to read the ‘Driving the electric revolution challenge’ annual report, which sets out how PEMD technology is critical to reach net zero by 2050.

We would also recommend exploring the Innovate UK KTN driving the electric revolution programme page, Driving the Electric Revolution Industrialisation Centre and Electric Revolution Skills Hub for the latest industry announcements and opportunities.

Contact us

For more information about this competition, please email Venn Chesterton, Deputy Challenge Director of the Driving the electric revolution challenge at Innovate UK: venn.chesterton@iuk.ukri.org

For general driving the electric revolution enquiries, please email the team: der@iuk.ukri.org

Top image:  Credit: Adobe Stock

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