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Faraday Institution to supercharge UK battery research

Amit Katwala

(Credit: iStock)
(Credit: iStock)

The UK government has announced a major new facility for energy storage research.

The Faraday Institution will receive £65m of core funding over four years, from the government’s recently announced £246m Faraday Challenge fund, with an additional £13m managed by the EPSRC. It will deliver an integrated programme of research and innovation to help develop and scale up new battery technologies.

The Institution, announced today by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, will be based on the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire, which is already home to major national research facilities including Diamond Light Source, the ISIS Neutron and Muon Facility and the Central Laser Facility.

“The Faraday Institution will be an important centre for a vital research field, bringing together experts from across the UK and ensuring access to the best possible equipment, including those housed here at Diamond,” said Laurent Chapon, physical sciences director at Diamond. “Our energy research portfolio continues to grow, and we look forward to welcoming the Faraday Institution HQ to the Campus to continue to build on our strengths in this area.”

Bill David, STFC senior fellow at ISIS Neutron and Muon Source said x-rays and muons underpinned our understanding of materials. “In this Battery Challenge, the world-leading facilities and expertise at Harwell will provide insights that inform and direct many of the multiple cross-disciplinary challenges that we face in moving towards a future electrified economy.”

The institution has seven university partners – Cambridge, UCL, Imperial, Newcastle, Oxford, Southampton and Warwick. Professor Peter Littlewood, the founding 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.”

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