Government launches first phase of £246m battery technology challenge
25 Jul 2017
The government has announced the launch of a £246 million fund designed to establish the UK as a world leader in battery technology.
The four-year Faraday Challenge aims to boost the research and development of expertise in battery technology in the UK, the government said.
The Challenge will be split into three areas – research, innovation, and scale-up – and is designed to bring about a step-change in translating the UK’s research into market-ready technology.
Announcing the Challenge this week, business secretary Greg Clark said: “The first element will be 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 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.”
Clark added: “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 announcement follows a review by the government’s chief scientific adviser Mark Walport in which he identified areas where the UK had strengths in battery technology and could benefit from linkage through this challenge fund.
EPSRC chief executive Philip Nelson said: “The Faraday Challenge is a new way of working. It will bring together the best minds in the field, draw on others from different disciplines, and link intimately with industry, innovators and other funders, such as Innovate UK, to ensure we maintain our world leading position and keep the pipeline of fundamental science to innovation flowing.”
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