New £65m research institute aims to make UK global leader in electric battery technology

A NEW consortium of UK universities has been formed to build the country’s status as a world leader in battery research and technology.

An operator works on the batteries of a Renault Twizy electric car GETTY

An operator works on the batteries of a Renault Twizy electric car

The £65 million research institute, called the Faraday Battery Institute (FBI), is made up of seven universities: Imperial College London, Newcastle University, University College London, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, University of Southampton and University of Warwick.

Business secretary Greg Clark said: “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 FBI 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 FBI 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 Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is providing the funding to the FBI, of which an initial £13.7 million will be used to establish a headquarters.

EPSRC chief executive Professor Philip Nelson 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 Institute will bring leading academics in the field of battery development together to explore novel approaches that will meet these challenges and accelerate the development of new products and techniques.”

The FBI has been named after Michael Faraday, a 19th century English scientist who specialised in the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry.

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