R1m up for grabs from uYilo Kick Start Fund

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

The uYilo eMobility Programme has opened applications for the 2022 uYilo Kick Start Fund, offering up to R1 million in grant funding to e-mobility start-ups 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.

Last month, the programme received multimillion-rand funding from the European Union, which forms part of the funding, and will also be used to enable and mobilise electric mobility across Africa.

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.

“The development of a local e-mobility value-chain is the key outcome of the uYilo Kick Start Fund initiative,” says uYilo director Hiten Parmar.

“The uYilo Kick Start Fund focuses on accelerating existing research and development to the level where they can be commercialised into the market. It provides support for local products and services, along with developing skillsets so South Africa can use its own resources to build an electric vehicle industry with expanding opportunities for export while creating local employment.”

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.

Applications must be received by midday on 31 January in order to be considered for funding, at which point each applicant will be evaluated for shortlisting to pitching sessions before final contracting for funding.

Previously funded projects have included battery systems, charging solutions, motors, inverters, remote monitoring systems and electric vehicles. Project submissions will be evaluated against the required criteria, with those accepted required to achieve a set of milestones throughout the project development process.

According to Parmar, international market changes in the acceptance of internal combustion engines (ICE) has placed the spotlight on SA’s need to evolve into the electric mobility future – with governments setting deadlines for allowing ICE vehicles into city centres.

“We need to become part of the future and have the opportunity to become a leader in e-mobility in Africa. The uYilo Kick Start Fund is part of helping local companies realise the future and become globally competitive with local innovation,” adds Parmar.

Project applications must be completed and submitted to before the deadline at midday on 31 January.

For more information onapplication forms and other relevant documentation, visit the uYilo website.

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