Posted on July 24, 2017 by staff

Government announces start of £246m battery tech investment


Energy Secretary Greg Clark will announce the launch of the first phase of a £246m investment into battery technology, in a speech today.

It includes launch of £45m Battery Institute competition to establish a centre for research to make technology more accessible and affordable.

Known as the Faraday Challenge, the four-year investment round is a key part of the government’s industrial strategy.

The Government claims the initiative will ensure the UK builds on its strengths and leads the world in the design, development and manufacture of electric batteries.

An overarching Faraday Challenge Advisory Board will be established to ensure the coherence and impact of the challenge.

The board will be 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.

At a speech hosted by the Resolution Foundation in Birmingham, Greg Clark is expected to say: “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.

“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.

“We have great strengths. Our economy has been extraordinarily good at creating jobs.

“When we look at our closest neighbours, we can be truly proud of the fact almost everyone of working age in this country is in work and earning.”

Ruth McKernan, Innovate UK chief executive said: “By any scale, the Faraday Challenge is a game changing investment in the UK and will make people around the globe take notice of what the UK is doing in terms of battery development for the automotive sector.

“The competitions opening this week present huge opportunities for UK businesses, helping to generate further jobs and growth in the UK’s low carbon economy.”