Faraday Challenge to boost battery technology

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The launch of the first phase of a £246million government investment into battery technology has been announced by Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark.

Known as the Faraday Challenge, the four-year investment round is a key part of the government’s Industrial Strategy. It will deliver a coordinated programme of competitions that will aim to boost both the research and development of expertise in battery technology.

“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, pictured.

“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.”

The Faraday Challenge’s competitions are divided into 3 streams – research, innovation and scale-up.

The first element will be a £45m competition led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPRC) 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.

According to Clark, the most promising research completed by the Institute will be moved closer to the market through industrial collaborations led by Innovate UK.

To further develop the real-world use and application of battery technology, the government has opened a second competition, led by the Advanced Propulsion Centre, to identify the best proposition for an open access national battery manufacturing development facility.