The Niche Vehicle Network promotes and stimulates R&D collaboration by bringing together independent vehicle manufacturers, system suppliers, research organisations, design and engineering companies, to collaborate on the application of innovative technologies in specialist vehicle production. Since 2005, the Network has provided funding and support to enable these companies to develop new technology and build prototype vehicles which form the basis of new products, demonstrating that the UK leads the way in the adoption of lightweight materials and advanced powertrain solutions.
Funded Research and Development
The Niche Vehicle Network invests in R&D projects focused on the niche and specialist vehicle manufacturing sector. Sponsored by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), Innovate UK and the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), NVN competitions are focused on providing SMEs active in the low carbon vehicle technology sector with funding to undertake collaborative research and development activities through the following competitions:
1. The Niche Vehicle Feasibility Competition provides grants for industry-led projects focusing on catalysing innovation low carbon vehicle technologies through the undertaking of initial desk top research activities.
2. The Proof of Concept Competition provides grants for UK niche vehicle manufacturers and associated design and engineering companies to undertake the research and development of early market low carbon technology demonstration projects.
3. The Production Readiness Competition provides grants for UK SMEs and their supply chain to take existing low carbon vehicle technologies from demonstration through to production readiness.
Showcasing of Innovation
The Network provides members with the opportunity to showcase their capabilities to the industry at a variety of industry events, notably Cenex-LCV and Advanced Engineering, as well as at OEM showcasing events. These events provide members with the opportunity to meet potential customers and collaborators, as well as engaging with the wider industry.
The Niche Vehicle Network holds a number of events throughout the year which focus on providing networking opportunities to members. The Niche Vehicle Symposium and Member Forum events provide members with the environment and opportunity to engage with other members.
Joining the Network
Joining the Network is free of charge and enables members to take part in this forum and gain access to a wide range of suppliers who specialise within the niche vehicle sector. In addition, membership provides companies with full access to the NVN website, which provides a wealth of resources from previous project reports to a niche vehicle design guide and information on homologation.