R1m up for grabs from uYilo eMobility Programme fund

Hiten Parmar, director of the uYilo e-Mobility Programme.

The uYilo eMobility Programme has opened applications for the 2021 uYilo Kick Start Fund, offering as much as R1 million in grant funding to e-mobility and related projects.

The uYilo Electric Mobility Programme was established in 2013 as a multi-stakeholder, collaborative programme focused on enabling, facilitating and mobilising electric mobility in SA.

It is an initiative of the Technology Innovation Agency, a public entity of the Department of Science and Innovation.

The organisation’s funding vehicle, the uYilo Kick Start Fund was created in 2014 as part of uYilo's mandate to support e-mobility-related products or services development, by providing an agile mechanism to fund applied research and development to enable, facilitate and accelerate e-mobility in SA.

All projects in the e-mobility ecosystem and value-chain are invited to apply; each will be evaluated according to specific criteria and then managed throughout the development process to reach a set of milestones in order to achieve a successful outcome, according to the organisation.

The grant funding is focused on applied research that will accelerate technology readiness levels and lead to the creation of products, processes or services that can be commercialised to advance SA’s e-mobility industry.

“The switch to electric mobility is changing the transport landscape globally,” says uYilo director Hiten Parmar.

“A critical part of this transition for SA is to have localised content, promote local industry and encourage local job creation. This is both to reduce the reliance on imported technology and products, and to extract the maximum benefit from the minerals and other resources that are abundant in Africa.

“The aim for all Kick Start funded projects is to facilitate the development to commercially-viable products, with associated job creation. Creating employment opportunities is a crucial part of improving the economy – and jobs in future growth sectors with emerging technology are highly desirable.”

Previously approved projects include electric vehicle (EV) charge points, EV back-office solution projects, battery packs and EV system components.

“Golden Arrow Bus Service in Cape Town is currently piloting an electric bus which will soon be open to public use,” says Parmar. “This project was one of the most recent to receive uYilo Kick Start funding and started as a detailed public transport feasibility study which has now progressed to this pilot phase.”

The fund is offering a maximum of:

  • R500 000 (including VAT) per project for individual projects (one participant).
  • R1 million (including VAT) per project for collaborative projects (multiple participants).

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • Have established research in uYilo’s strategic focus areas of energy storage technologies, electric vehicle systems, charging infrastructure within smart-grids, and connected cars.
  • Industry projects that will lead to local manufacturing of a product, or delivery of a service, or support public transportation.

Applications must be received by midday on 30 June in order to be considered for funding, at which point, each will be evaluated for shortlisting to pitching sessions before final contracting for funding.

Application forms and other relevant documentation are available on the uYilo Web site.

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