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Business Secretary announces founding partners of £65 million battery technology research institute

last modified Oct 03, 2017 03:03 PM

The Faraday Institution, a new, multi-million pound research institute was announced yesterday (Monday 02 October 2017), by Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. It will drive and accelerate fundamental research in developing battery technologies, and its translation.

The Institution will be the UK's independent, national institute for battery research. Funded through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the government's Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), the Faraday Institution is part of the coordinated activity between Innovate UKEPSRC and the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to meet the Faraday Battery Challenge, announced by the government in July, of delivering an integrated programme of research, innovation and the scale-up of novel battery technologies.

The Institution will have a budget of £65 million over four years. This will be used to set up the Institution, to establish a battery technology training programme, and to fund a series of research challenge projects carried out in the academic sector under the Faraday Institution's direction.

The research institute will draw upon academic expertise in universities across the UK to deliver a research and training programme that is designed in conjunction with industry to keep the UK at the forefront of novel battery technologies.

Announcing this major investment in the UK's research base Mr 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 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 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.

The ambition of the programme is to make the UK the go-to place for the research, development, manufacture and production of new battery technologies for both the automotive and the wider relevant sectors. To research, innovate and scale up.

Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC's Chief Executive, 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 Institution will bring leading academics in the field of battery development together to explore novel application inspired approaches that will meet these challenges and accelerate the development of new products and techniques. EPSRC is pleased to be helping establish the Institution, and the drive to keep the UK a prosperous and productive nation.

Professor Peter Littlewood, interim Director of the Faraday Institution, said: Michael Faraday founded battery science and electrical engines in the 19th Century, and the UK led the invention of Li-ion batteries for mobile electronics in the 20th. In the 21st it should lead in the transition to electrification of vehicles, and then in the convergence of the digital and electrified economy. This is the goal of the Faraday Institution.

[Taken from https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/newsevents/news/faradayinstitution/]