Clean Futures Accelerator – Apply by 10/09/23

Get support and funding for new ideas to help the West Midlands lead the way on green transport.

Apply by 10 September 2023.

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The opportunity

Transport represents a huge opportunity to decarbonise, representing 24% of all UK emissions even in 2020 during the pandemic. In order to achieve short to mid-term emissions targets, these must be addressed quickly and effectively. The West Midlands has a rich vehicle manufacturing heritage and is well-placed to be at the forefront of the green industrial revolution. This accelerator is part of the Clean Futures programme, which is part of the wider West Midlands Innovation Accelerator.

For this first cohort of the Clean Futures Accelerator, 20 SMEs will be selected to join a 6-month, challenge-led programme where they will each receive up to £50K to trial their solutions. Successful applicants will also receive bespoke technical and commercial support and benefit from networking and showcasing events to connect with industry and financial partners. They will also have the opportunity to access an extensive range of facilities to support the development of future rail technologies at BCIMO and technical support from both the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering and the Centre for Advanced Low Carbon Propulsion Systems at Coventry University.

In addition, all applicants will have the opportunity to join the Clean Futures Catalyst, a network bringing together the wider West Midlands transport community to enhance the region’s capacity for clean technology.

The challenges

The challenges in this accelerator have been developed around the rail and automotive manufacturing sectors, along with related supply chains.

  1. Greener EV components: Design or produce components which reduce embodied carbon across the vehicle lifecycle
  2. Circular Economy of transport: Design or manufacture solutions to reuse or recycle batteries and other vehicle components
  3. Road freight alternatives: Design or produce systems or sub-systems enabling alternatives to traditional road freight, including using existing infrastructure, facilitating multi-modal freight transportation and exploring shared transport solutions
  4. Greener transport infrastructure: Design or produce cost-effective solutions for clean transportation infrastructure
  5. Future Fuels: Produce, transport or store alternative fuels such as hydrogen, biofuels or synthetic fuels


Coventry University and Coventry University Services Ltd


The Clean Futures Accelerator is open to small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in existing supply chains as well as those looking to move into new sectors. Clean Futures also welcomes bids from consortiums of partners, with a lead applicant who will be the funding recipient. In addition, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Your business must have a UK-registered office or address, and ideally, you will operate in the West Midlands*
  • Your innovative solution will be at least TRL 5
  • Your technology or solution must be able to address at least one of the challenge statements
  • You must be willing to travel on occasion to face-to-face meetings and events in the West Midlands
  • You must be willing to complete a development, testing or demonstration of your solution in a real or relevant environment, using the BCIMO or Coventry University test sites
  • You must be willing to match fund your grant (up to £50K) with in-kind support (e.g. labour, materials)

*Ideally, applicants will already have an operational presence in the West Midlands, and we emphasise that most successful applicants will have a registered office there (although this need not be the HQ). It is also possible to engage with SMEs that do not have a presence in West Midlands, providing a) you have aspirations to deploy your resulting technology or solution in the region and b) you can expect regional impact from this deployment, in the way of future job or investment opportunities. An applicant based outside of the West Midlands (e.g. Scotland) that wants to join the accelerator to conduct technology development testing in the region but has no intention of creating an on-going presence, would not meet the eligibility criteria.


On 01 August 2023 Connected Places Catapult will host an application support webinar, covering the technical description of the challenges; details on the application process; and a live Q&A session.


Harriet Muscroft, the Accelerator Programme Manager, at

More about this opportunity

Applications close midnight 10 September 2023

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