25 July 2017

UK to invest £246m in battery technology

Known as ‘Faraday Challenge’, the initiative will be part of the country’s modern Industrial Strategy and aims to establish the UK as world leader in battery technology.

‘Faraday Challenge’, a 4-year investment round, will be delivered through a coordinated programme of competitions , as  the UK Business Secretary, Greg Clark, announced during his Keynote Industrial Strategy speech in Birmingham, on 24 July.

The first phase will include the launch of a £45 million ‘Battery Institute’ competition to establish a centre for battery research.

The programme will be coordinated by an overarching Faraday Challenge Advisory Board chaired by Professor Richard Parry-Jones, a senior engineering leader who previously chaired the UK Automotive Council for 6 years.

Richard Parry-Jones commented: “The power of the Faraday Challenge derives from the joining-up of all three stages of research from the brilliant research in the university base, through innovation in commercial applications to scaling up for production. It will focus our best minds on the critical industrial challenges that are needed to establish the UK as one of the world leaders in advanced battery technologies and associated manufacturing capability”.

According to Greg Clark, “The first element will be a competition led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to bring the best minds and facilities together to create a Battery Institute”, adding that then: “The most promising research completed by the Institute will be moved closer to the market through industrial collaborations led by Innovate UK” while “The Advanced Propulsion Centre will work with the automotive sector to identify the best proposition for a new state-of-the-art open access National Battery Manufacturing Development facility..”

“…The work that we do through the Faraday Challenge will – quite literally – power the automotive and energy revolution where, already, the UK is leading the world”.

Professor Philip Nelson, Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), said: “Batteries will form a cornerstone of a low carbon economy, whether in cars, aircraft, consumer electronics, district or grid storage. To deliver the UK’s low carbon economy we must consolidate and grow our capabilities in novel battery technology. EPSRC’s previous research investments mean we are in a world-leading position”.

For more information you can read the complete press release here, and a review of the initiative by the Government Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Mark Walport in which he identifies areas where the UK had strengths in battery technology here

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