Imperial College London

Imperial College London helps found new national battery research centre

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Map of the UK, overlaid on an image representing a battery with a Union Flag backdrop

Imperial College London is part of a new consortium creating a world class research institution dedicated to energy storage and batteries.

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

We are delighted to be involved at the beginning of what I know will be an important initiative for energy storage in the UK.

Dr Greg Offer, Department of Mechanical Engineering

The task of shaping its strategic programme of fundamental, application driven, research will fall to a seven member consortium, led by University of Oxford, which includes Imperial College London. The team will have initial funding of £65 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and is part of government’s £246 million investment in battery technology.

The core aim of the institution is to ensure that the UK remains a world leader in novel battery technologies and energy storage for electric vehicles and cement 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.

Imperial College London’s part of the bid was led by Professor Nigel Brandon, Dr Greg Offer and Dr Billy Wu, and coordinated by Energy Futures Lab. “It is great to see the Government’s Industrial strategy bearing fruit,” says Dr Offer, “We are delighted to be involved at the beginning of what I know will be an important initiative for energy storage in the UK.”

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 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 circular economy/recycling.

As part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy portfolio the Faraday  Institution 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 Institution will be funded through the Government's Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and the initiative is supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Innovate UK and the Advanced Propulsion Centre.

The full list of partners in the consortium is Oxford University, Imperial College London, University College London, University of Warwick, University of Cambridge, University of Southampton and Newcastle University.

You can read the full announcement from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy on their website.

The Imperial College London contribution to the proposal was supported by Energy Futures Lab. If you are considering submitting an energy-related proposal Energy Futures Lab can provide assistance with finding partners, bid writing and other tasks. Please contact our Research Development Manager, Dr Nic Hylton, on n.hylton@imperial.ac.uk for more information.

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Neasan O'Neill

Neasan O'Neill
Faculty of Engineering

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Email: press.office@imperial.ac.uk
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