National battery research centre announced

Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has announced the formation of a new national battery technology research institute: the Faraday Battery Institute. This will be based at the Harwell Campus, close to both the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and major automotive industry players.

The institute will strategically manage a programme of research and training to meet the overall batteries challenge. The research funding calls will be tailored to engage industrial and academic participants from across the UK and further afield.

The University of Oxford leads a consortium of seven academic institutions (see below for the full list), which will shape the Institute’s strategic programme of fundamental, application driven research. The team will have initial funding of £65 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and is part of the UK government’s £246 million investment in battery technology.

The core aim of the institute is to ensure that the UK remains a world leader in novel battery technologies and energy storage for electric vehicles, cementing the future of the UK automotive industry. The team will run funding calls, develop a training programme and provide a national hub to promote research and its translation to address a wide range of energy challenges.

The first call, the Batteries for Britain scheme, is already up and running. In these “Fast Start” projects, the team are looking to fund projects on tackling battery degradation, the all-solid-state battery, multi-scale modelling and the circular economy/recycling.

As part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy portfolio, the Faraday Battery Institute will work closely with the National Battery Manufacturing Development facility. This will focus on developing manufacturing technologies for batteries and their components and will enable rapid scaling of new research developments into industry. The plan is for these two institutions to work collaboratively and support research throughout the entire battery ecosystem, from fundamental research to commercial products.

The Faraday Battery Institute will be funded through the Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and the initiative is supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research CouncilInnovate UK and the Advanced Propulsion Centre.

The full list of partners in the consortium is Oxford UniversityImperial College LondonUniversity College LondonUniversity of WarwickUniversity of CambridgeUniversity of Southampton and Newcastle University.