Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark is today due to announce the launch of the first phase of a £245 million Government investment into battery technology to ensure the UK leads the world in the design, development and manufacture of electric batteries.
Known as the Faraday Challenge, the four-year investment round is part of the government’s Industrial Strategy. It will deliver a coordinated programme of competitions that will aim to boost both the research and development of expertise in battery technology.
An overarching Faraday Challenge Advisory Board will be established to ensure the coherence and impact of the challenge. The board will be chaired by Professor Richard Parry-Jones, a senior engineering leader with many decades of senior automotive industry experience, who also recently chaired the UK Automotive Council for six years.
The Government and OFGEM will set out a plan to ensure the energy system is fit for the future. With over a quarter of the UK’s electricity being generated through renewables and the costs of technologies like battery storage rapidly, there are significant opportunities to secure economic benefits for businesses and households across the country.
Clark said: “”One of the strengths of an industrial strategy is to be able to bring together concerted effort on areas of opportunity that have previously been in different sectors, or which require joining forces between entrepreneurs, scientists and researchers, industries, and local and national government.
“So as part of our Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund I am today launching the Faraday Challenge, which will put £246 million into research, innovation and scale-up of battery technology.
“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.
“The most promising research completed by the Institute will be moved closer to the market through industrial collaborations led by Innovate UK.
“And 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.”
The Faraday Challenge’s competitions are divided into three streams – research, innovation and scale-up – designed to drive a step-change in translating the UK’s world-leading research into market-ready technology that ensures economic success for the UK:
Research: To support world class research and training in battery materials, technologies and manufacturing processes, the Government has opened a £45 million competition, led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), to bring the best minds and facilities together to create a virtual Battery Institute. The successful consortium of universities will be responsible for undertaking research looking to address the key industrial challenges in this area.
Innovation: The most promising research completed by the Institute will be moved closer to the market through collaborative research and development competitions, led by Innovate UK. The initial competitions will build on the best of current world-leading science already happening in the UK and helping make the technology more accessible for UK businesses.
Scale-up: To further develop the real-world use and application of battery technology the Government has opened a competition, led by the Advanced Propulsion Centre, to identify the best proposition for a new state-of-the-art open access National Battery Manufacturing Development facility.
The Brit-govt. is also putting up £25 million in funding for the third Connected Autonomous Vehicles research and development competition.
For the first time the Government is making funding available to off-road driverless innovation, with investments earmarked for cutting-edge projects that will grow the commercial potential of off-road driverless technology and develop technologies that will increase productivity and improve mobility in a range of sectors including construction, farming and mining.
24 July 2017