Greg Clark announces Faraday Institution

Supplementary content information

The Faraday Institution, a new, multi-million pound research institute was announced yesterday (Monday 02 October 2017), by Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. It will drive and accelerate fundamental research in developing battery technologies, and its translation.

The Institution will be the UK's independent, national institute for battery research. Funded through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the government's Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), the Faraday Institution is part of the coordinated activity between Innovate UK, EPSRC and the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to meet the Faraday Battery Challenge, announced by the government in July, of delivering an integrated programme of research, innovation and the scale-up of novel battery technologies.

The Institution will have a budget of £65 million over four years. This will be used to set up the Institution, to establish a battery technology training programme, and to fund a series of research challenge projects carried out in the academic sector under the Faraday Institution's direction.

The research institute will draw upon academic expertise in universities across the UK to deliver a research and training programme that is designed in conjunction with industry to keep the UK at the forefront of novel battery technologies.

Announcing this major investment in the UK's research base Mr Clark said: Through the Faraday Research Challenge we are cementing our position as the 'go-to' destination for battery technology so we can exploit the global transition to a low carbon economy.

The institute will have a critical role in fostering innovative research collaboration between our world-leading universities and world-beating businesses to make this technology more accessible and more affordable.

We have huge expertise in this area already and the collaboration between our seven founding universities provides a truly unique opportunity for us to bring together our expertise and an effort in this area behind a common set of strategic goals to ensure the UK exploits the jobs and business opportunities.

The ambition of the programme is to make the UK the go-to place for the research, development, manufacture and production of new battery technologies for both the automotive and the wider relevant sectors. To research, innovate and scale up.

Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC's Chief Executive, said: Climate change and moving towards low carbon economies mean the demand for clean energy production and effective energy storage, in the UK and globally, is rising. The Faraday Institution will bring leading academics in the field of battery development together to explore novel application inspired approaches that will meet these challenges and accelerate the development of new products and techniques. EPSRC is pleased to be helping establish the Institution, and the drive to keep the UK a prosperous and productive nation.

Professor Peter Littlewood, interim Director of the Faraday Institution, said: Michael Faraday founded battery science and electrical engines in the 19th Century, and the UK led the invention of Li-ion batteries for mobile electronics in the 20th. In the 21st it should lead in the transition to electrification of vehicles, and then in the convergence of the digital and electrified economy. This is the goal of the Faraday Institution.

Notes for Editors:

The Faraday Institution

The Institution's founding universities are: University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, Newcastle University, University of Oxford, University of Southampton, UCL, and the University of Warwick. The Institute will have its administrative offices at the Harwell Science and Innovation campus.

The Faraday Battery Challenge

The 'Faraday Battery Challenge' is to develop and manufacture batteries for the electrification of vehicles - £246 million over four years - to help UK businesses seize the opportunities presented by the move to a low carbon economy. The challenge will be split into three elements: research, innovation, and scale-up. It is among the first of six investment areas announced by the government to be funded through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF)

The ISCF builds on the UK's world-class research base and delivers the science that business needs to transform existing industries and create new ones. It accelerates commercial exploitation of the most exciting technologies the UK has to offer the world to ensure that scientific investment truly delivers economic impact, jobs and growth right across the country. The ISCF is delivered by InnovateUK and Research Councils UK (RCUK), and eventually UK Research and Innovation, the single voice for the UK's research and innovation landscape.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

As the main funding agency for engineering and physical sciences research, our vision is for the UK to be the best place in the world to Research, Discover and Innovate.

By investing £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, we are building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. Our portfolio covers a vast range of fields from healthcare technologies to structural engineering, manufacturing to mathematics, advanced materials to chemistry. The research we fund has impact across all sectors. It provides a platform for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone's health, lifestyle and culture.

We work collectively with our partners and other Research Councils on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK.

The Harwell Campus

Harwell Campus is a public private partnership between Harwell Oxford Partners, U+I Group PLC and two Government backed agencies, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the UK Atomic Energy Agency (UKAEA).

Harwell is one of the world's most important science and innovation locations. It has a growing reputation as the UK's gateway to space with over 65 space and satellite applications related organisations located on campus and is now seeing rapid growth in the Life Sciences and HealthTec sector with over 1,000 people working in this field alone at Harwell.

In addition to space and life sciences, the campus hosts an array of other key sectors including, Big Data and Supercomputing, Energy and Environment and Advanced Engineering and Materials. With a legacy of many world firsts, the campus comprises 710 acres, over 200 organisations and 5,500 people.

Reference: PN 58-17

Contact Details

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Name: EPSRC Press Office
Telephone: 01793 444404