UK Government Funding for Energy Research: Faraday Challenge

The UK government is investing £246 million to boost UK expertise in battery technology, with the launch of the Faraday Challenge.

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Government Funding for Energy Research

As part of the wider Industrial Strategy, £246 million will be invested in establishing the UK as a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of batteries. The first phase involves a Battery Institute competition, to establish a centre for battery research. The aim is to break down barriers and make technology more accessible and affordable.

Faraday Challenge

The Faraday Challenge is a 4 year investment programme. There will be a series of competitions to boost research and development in battery technology. The advisory board will be chaired by Professor Richard Parry-Jones, a senior engineering leader with decades of experience in the automotive industry.

I am today launching the Faraday Challenge, which will put £246 million into research, innovation and scale-up of battery technology.

The first element will be a competition led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to bring 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.

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.

Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Competition Categories

The competitions will be in 3 categories, with the aim to translate research into market-ready technology:

  • Research – A £45m competition led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) will support research and training in battery materials, technologies and manufacturing processes.
  • Innovation – Research from the institute will be moved towards the market with collaborative research and development competitions lead by Innovate UK.
  • Scale-up – A competition led by the Advanced Propulsion Centre will identify the best proposition for a new state-of-the-art open access National Battery Manufacturing Development facility. This will develop real-world applications of the new technology.
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.
Professor Philip Nelson, Chief Executive, EPSRC

Flexible Energy Plan

Alongside this programme, the government and Ofgem have also launched a ‘flexible energy’ plan, to give homes and businesses more control over their energy use and support innovative new technologies.

The plan will transform energy storage and use, with the aim to remove barriers to smart and battery technology, and reduce costs for consumers. The government plans to upgrade the UK’s energy system with new technologies to store and manage renewable energy, for example with smart meters and a smart energy grid.

Further information is available in the report “Upgrading our energy system: smart systems and flexibility plan”.

Electric car

Ban on Petrol and Diesel Cars from 2040

The need for battery development in the automotive industry is further enhanced by the announcement that new petrol and diesel cars will be banned in the UK from 2040. This move is to tackle air pollution, as part of a £3bn programme of spending on air quality.

More about the ban on BBC News 

Instruments for Energy Research

We offer a variety of instruments for energy research, including battery development, semiconductors and solar cells.

We are available for advice and guidance on the most suitable systems for your area of work. If you have any questions or if you’d like a quote, please get in touch.

Instruments for Energy Research

 Contact us on +44 (0)1223 422 269 or info@blue-scientific.com

Micro-CT scans of batteries

Non-destructive internal imaging with micro-CT