News story

UK off road vehicles lead the way

Innovate UK is investing up to £6 million to reduce off-highway vehicle emissions and improve their efficiency.

Image of Mark Roberts of Ashwoods Automotive Ltd, one of the winning companies
SME Ashwoods Automotive wouldn't have been able to put together such a consortium from the off-highway sector without support from Innovate UK

The UK off-highway vehicle sector is vibrant and successful, and world leading in some of its on-vehicle technology. Our recent funding competition ‘World-leading, off-highway vehicles’ has produced some highly innovative projects to boost the UK’s position.

One winning consortium won over half of their project costs. Managing Director of leading company Ashwoods Automotive Ltd Mark Roberts told us:

Ashwoods has worked exclusively in the automotive sector, having developed innovative electric motor intellectual property (IP) with support from Innovate UK.

Winning £565,000 from Innovate UK towards projects costs of £977,000 has since given us the opportunity to apply this IP to a whole new industry we previously knew little about, the off-highway sector.

Without the funding and support from Innovate UK, an SME like Ashwoods would not have been able to put together a consortium of seasoned big-hitters from the off-highway sector including Caterpillar, Curtis Instruments and Nifty Lift along with our long-term academic partner, the University of Bath.

Our ambition is to apply our innovative electric motor IP to production vehicles and this project provides the gateway to the high volume off-highway market.

SME power

Having met the challenge of emissions legislation imposed in the US and EU, the off-highway vehicle sector is now anticipating future CO2 and other emissions requirements.

In a global market for off-highway vehicles expected to total $137.1 billion in 2016 from 1.2 million unit sales (source: www.offhighway.co.uk) customers worldwide are also demanding even greater energy efficiency and utility from their machines.

This funding competition’s aim was to further strengthen the UK’s reputation for excellence in the development of world-leading technologies for wheeled or tracked vehicles used in:

  • agriculture
  • construction
  • mining
  • other off-highway roles

The UK excels in research, development and innovation, and innovative companies are an important contributor to economic growth.

Innovate UK is keen to use our talent to make the UK the best place in the world to run an innovative business or service. Our funding competitions offer opportunities and support to achieve this.

If you’re interested in getting funding or support from Innovate UK, see our current funding opportunities or find out the different ways we could help your business

Published 20 March 2015