UK sets up £65m battery research institute

UK sets up £65m battery research institute

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

The Faraday Battery Institute is backed by £65 million (€80m) from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and will be headquartered at Harwell near Oxford. The Institute is part of government’s £246 million investment in battery technology that includes a major production plant that has yet to be announced.

The universities forming the institute are Imperial College London, Newcastle University, University College London and the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Southampton and Warwick.

Warwick host a major manufacturing research centre, WMG, that includes the Energy Innovation Centre with connections to major car makers such as Jaguar Landrover. WMG also has research deals with Oxford.

“Through the Faraday Research Challenge we are cementing our position as the ‘go-to’ destination for battery technology so we can exploit the global transition to a low carbon economy,” said Greg Clark, the business secretary. 

“The Faraday Battery Institute will have a critical role in fostering innovative research collaboration,” he said. “We have huge expertise in this area already and the Faraday Battery Institute collaboration between our 7 founding universities provides a truly unique opportunity for us to bring together our expertise and an effort in this area behind a common set of strategic goals.”

The Institute will invest an initial £13.7 million to set up a headquarters.

“The Faraday Institute will bring leading academics in the field of battery development together to explore novel approaches that will meet these challenges and accelerate the development of new products and techniques,” said Professor Philip Nelson, chief executive of research funding agency the EPSRC. 

The Faraday Research Challenge is divided into three streams covering research, innovation and scale-up which is designed to boost UK research into market-ready technologies.

The UK government is also about to unveil the winners of its first £55 million Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) testing infrastructure competition.

Other areas receiving government support through the investment in 2017 to 2018 include healthcare and medicine technologies, robotics and artificial intelligence, and satellite and space technology.

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