Business secretary announces founding partners of £65M battery technology institute

Business Secretary has today announced the universities that will lead pioneering research into next generation of battery technology

The flagship Faraday Battery Institute will bring together the best minds from seven founding partner universities and industry to make UK global leader in battery research and technology

The Faraday Battery Institute, with £65m from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, is part of Government’s £246 million investment in battery technology through the Industrial Strategy
Business Secretary Greg Clark has today announced the consortium of UK universities that will form the Faraday Battery Institute, a new £65 million research institute responsible for building the UK’s status as a global leader in battery research and technology.

The Institute will bring together the expertise and insight from its seven founding partner universities, industry partners and other academic institutions to accelerate fundamental research to develop battery technologies. Ensuring the UK is well placed to take advantage of the future economic opportunities from emerging technology.

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

Announcing this major investment in the UK’s research base Greg Clark said: “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.

“The Faraday Battery, Institute will have a critical role in fostering innovative research collaboration between our world-leading universities and world-beating businesses to make this technology more accessible and more affordable.

“We have huge expertise in this area already and the Faraday Battery Institute collaboration between our seven 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 to ensure the UK exploits the jobs and business opportunities.”

With £65 million of funding through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Institute will invest an initial £13.7 million to set up a headquarters.

EPSRC Chief Executive Professor Philip Nelson said: “Climate change and moving towards low carbon economies mean the demand for clean energy production and effective energy storage, in the UK and globally, is rising.

“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.

“EPSRC is pleased to be helping establish the Institute, and the drive to keep the UK a prosperous and productive nation.”

The Business Secretary confirmed in July that the Government would be making an investment of £246 million, over four years, in the Faraday Research Challenge to ensure the UK builds on its strengths and leads the world in the design, development and manufacture of electric batteries.

The Faraday Research Challenge is divided into three streams – research, innovation and scale-up which is designed to drive a step-change in transforming the UK’s world-leading research into market-ready technologies that ensures economic success for the UK.

The Faraday Research Challenge is just one of six areas that the government, together with business and academia, identified through its flagship Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) as being one of the UK’s core industrial challenges and opportunities, where research and innovation can help unlock markets and industries of the future in which the UK can become world-leading.

As part of cementing the UK as a global leader in autonomous and battery vehicles, the Government will unveil shortly the winners of its first £55m Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) testing infrastructure competition.

This follows the Government opening its £100m CAV test bed competition in April, inviting proposals for how to create a cluster of excellence in driverless car testing, along the M40 corridor between Coventry and London, to accelerate the development of this technology, grow intellectual capital and attract overseas investment in the UK.

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