15 May 2024

Up to £50k funding available for transport manufacturers in the West Midlands

West Midlands has been identified as a key region in the UK for potential growth in advanced manufacturing.

© Sam B/unsplash

Innovate UK has opened a funding round to support the West Midlands’ transport sector as it transitions away from fossil fuels towards clean technology. 

Now in its second year, 20 small and medium enterprises will be selected to join a six-month, challenge-led accelerator, where they will receive up to £50K to trial their solution which must be matched in-kind (e.g. labour time/materials.)

The challenges in the accelerator are built around rail and automotive manufacturing, along with related supply chains.

The accelerator also provides bespoke technical and commercial support, as well as networking and showcasing events to connect the firms with industry and financial partners.

The challenges are:

Challenge 1: Clean and Efficient Vehicle Manufacturing and Assembly
The focus areas are.
  • Minimising scope 3 emissions in the production of sustainable vehicles
  • Improving the integration of sustainable vehicles into the circular economy
  • Addressing a major barrier in the adoption of clean transport technologies, i.e. the cost of acquisition and operation.
Challenge 2: Design or production of cost-effective solutions for a clean transportation infrastructure

The objective is to contribute to the development of mass rail-based transit systems that are accessible to everyone, fostering a unified public transport network that is clean, reliable and sustainable.

Rail solutions are sought that either introduce a brand-new infrastructure approach, or centre on retrofitting existing infrastructures to make them greener.

Challenge 3: Future Fuels: Produce, transport, or store alternative fuels such as hydrogen or biofuels

Applicants are invited that are actively involved in the production, transportation, or storage of biofuels or hydrogen within the West Midlands.

These efforts should aim to make alternative fuels readily available to end-users, thereby supporting the region’s sustainable energy ecosystem.

Challenge 4: Open Challenge

The Open Challenge is designed to foster a wide array of sustainable solutions. Beyond the accelerator’s main three challenges, the Clean Futures programme welcomes applications that contribute to sustainable transport and clean manufacturing in general.

To apply for any of these four challenges, you must be an SME with:

  • A UK company address
  • An innovative technology or solution with a Technology Readiness Level of 5 or above
  • Demonstratable alignment to one of the challenges being addressed by this programme
  • The ability to travel for face-to-face meetings and events in the West Midlands
  • Development, testing and/or demonstration of your solution is feasible using the BCIMO or Coventry University test site facilities
  • In-kind match funding contribution of £50k
  • (e.g labour, materials)
  • Solution must have demonstrable impact within the West Midlands


  • Existing operational presence in the West Midlands

 Find out more and apply. Registration closes on 9 June 2024.