Can the government establish the UK as world leader in battery technology?

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Greg Clark
Business Secretary Greg Clark announces the launch of the £246 million Faraday Challenge to boost expertise in battery technology

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark will today announce in a keynote speech on the Industrial Strategy the launch of the first phase of a £246 million government investment into battery technology to ensure the UK builds on its strengths and leads the world in the design, development and manufacture of electric batteries.

Known as the Faraday Challenge, the 4-year investment round is a key part of the government’s Industrial Strategy. It will deliver a coordinated programme of competitions that will aim to boost both the research and development of expertise in battery technology.

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 on the need for an Industrial Strategy: “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.”

The Faraday Challenge’s competitions are divided into 3 streams – research, innovation and scale-up – designed to drive a step-change in translating the UK’s world-leading research into market-ready technology that ensures economic success for the UK:

In April, the government announced £1 billion of investment through the fund in cutting-edge technologies to create jobs and raise living standards. Other areas receiving government support through the ISCF in 2017 to 2018 include cutting edge healthcare and medicine, robotics and artificial intelligence, and satellite and space technology.

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