United Kingdom govt to invest £246m in battery tech


The government's announcement follows a review, commissioned as part of an industrial strategy consultative paper, by Sir Mark Walport - in which he identified areas where the United Kingdom had strengths in battery technology and could benefit from funding.

The investment, called the Faraday Challenge by the government, aims to ensure that the United Kingdom builds on its strengths and leads the world in the design, development and manufacture of electric batteries. Known as the Faraday Challenge, named after the inventor of the electric motor, it is hoped the programme will bring cutting-edge EV batteries to market.

The government also launched the Faraday Challenge, pledging £246m on battery research, £45m of which will be used to create a national battery institute, to advance storage technology and bring down battery costs. "We need to ensure that we find and seize opportunities to work more productively".

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. Britain is also seeking to boost employee productivity, which lags Germany and France, Clark said.

Part of the overarching Industrial Strategy, the four-year project will consist of three distinct phases created to drive battery research and make the United Kingdom a world leader in the area. If we can do so, we can increase the earning power of our country and our people.

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A three-month consultation earlier this year on an industrial strategy to increase United Kingdom productivity and growth attracted more than 1,900 written responses from businesses and organisations.

As per the government, the most promising research coming out of the virtual Battery Institute will be taken closer to the market via collaborative research and development contests that will be led by Innovate UK.

Talking about the investment, Clark is expected to say today: "The work that we do through the Faraday Challenge will - quite literally - power the automotive and energy revolution where, already, the United Kingdom is leading the world".

RenewableUK executive director Emma Pinchbeck said: "Today is the starting gun for the United Kingdom to become the world-leader in innovative battery storage technologies". The energy sector agrees that a clean, flexible and modern energy system is the future, a future which relies on a clear vision from the government, working in partnership with businesses.

The UK will become one of the best places in the world for energy innovation through a shakeup of industry rules paving the way for batteries in people's homes and across power grids, ministers have pledged. This next phase of driverless research will see £25m of funding made available to new projects, with specific attention on autonomous off-road applications in areas such as construction, farming and mining.