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UK Government announces £246m battery technology investment programme

25 July 2017

A £246m investment in developing battery technology in Britain over four years is to be launched by the government, known as the Faraday Challenge. UK business and energy secretary Greg Clark announced the funding on July 24, which is likely to provide particular benefits for the automotive and renewable energy sectors.

Part of the UK government’s overarching Industrial Strategy, the four-year project will consist of three distinct phases designed to drive battery research and make the UK a world leader in the area.

The first phase, led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will involve a £45m competition to explore the key technology challenges and create a ‘virtual Battery Institute’.

Phase two will see Innovate UK build on the most promising research, while phase three will be led by the Advanced Propulsion Centre, which will look to scale up the technology at a new National Battery Manufacturing Development facility.

“The Faraday Challenge is a new way of working,” said Professor Philip Nelson, chief executive of the EPSRC. “Batteries will form a cornerstone of a low carbon economy, whether in cars, aircraft, consumer electronics, district or grid storage. To deliver the UK’s low-carbon economy we must consolidate and grow our capabilities in novel battery technology.”

Other key pillars of the Industrial Strategy include robotics, AI and space technology, and investment in these sectors is designed to create conditions to boost earning power throughout the country and improve productivity.

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