It will begin with a competition led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, to bring the “best minds and facilities together” to create a Battery Institute.
This will be the first phase, including £45 million to launch the Battery Institute, a centre for battery research aiming to make the technology more accessible and affordable.
“The most promising research completed by the Institute will be moved closer to the market through industrial collaborations led by Innovate UK,” said Clark (right).
“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.”
According to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the four-year investment round is a key part of the government’s Industrial Strategy. The aim is to deliver a coordinated programme of competitions that will boost R&D in the field.
A Faraday Challenge Advisory Board will also be established to oversee the process. The board will be chaired by Professor Richard Parry-Jones, a senior engineering leader with decades of automotive industry experience, who recently chaired the UK Automotive Council for 6 years.
Faraday Challenge streams
The Faraday Challenge’s competitions are actually divided into three streams – research, innovation and scale-up – designed to translate UK research into market-ready technology.
Research: To support world class research and training in battery materials, technologies and manufacturing processes, the government has opened a £45m 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: 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 announcement follows a review, commissioned as part of the Industrial Strategy green paper, by Sir Mark Walport in which he identified areas where the UK had strengths in battery technology and could benefit from linkage through this challenge fund.
“By any scale, the Faraday Challenge is a game changing investment in the UK and will make people around the globe take notice of what the UK is doing in terms of battery development for the automotive sector,” said Ruth McKernan, Innovate UK Chief Executive.
“The competitions opening this week present huge opportunities for UK businesses, helping to generate further jobs and growth in the UK’s low carbon economy.”