The Business and Energy Secretary is launching of the first phase of a £246 million government investment into battery technology aimed at ensuring the UK leads the world in the design, development and manufacture of electric batteries.
Known as the Faraday Challenge, the four-year investment round is part of the Industrial Strategy, and is aimed at helping, among other things, electromobility transport technologies.
Greg Clark says an overarching Faraday Challenge Advisory Board will be established to ensure the coherence and impact of the challenge, chaired by Professor Richard Parry-Jones, a senior engineering leader with many decades of senior automotive industry experience and recently chaired the UK Automotive Council for six years.
Mr Clark says there is a need for an Industrial Strategy, “At its heart is a recognition that in order for all our citizens to be able to look forward with confidence to a prosperous future, we need to plan to improve our ability to earn that prosperity,” he said. “To enjoy a high and rising standard of living we must plan to be more productive than in the past. Economists have pointed to what they have called a productivity puzzle in Britain. That we appear to generate less value for our efforts than, say, people in Germany or France. In other words, we have to work longer to get the same rewards. It’s not that we want – or need – people to work longer hours. It’s that we need to ensure that we find and seize opportunities to work more productively – as a country, as cities and regions, as businesses and as individuals. If we can do so, we can increase the earning power of our country and our people.”
He then added, “Our strategy will create the conditions that boost earning power throughout the country – its people, places and companies. If every part of Britain is to prosper in the future we need to ensure that we have the right policies and institutions in place to drive the productivity – which is to say, the earning power – of the economy, and the people and places that make it up. I want to thank all of the organisations across the UK for the formidable response to the consultation that we have undertaken on our green paper ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’. The response has been extraordinary.”
The first element of the Faraday Challenge will be a competition led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council aimed at bringing the best minds and facilities together to create a 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.
Mr Clark says 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 Faraday Challenge’s competitions are divided into 3 streams – research, innovation and scale-up – designed to drive a step-change in translating the UK’s world-leading research into market-ready technology that ensures economic success for the UK:
- 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-up: 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.