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£80m for Warwick’s new national battery facility

£80m for Warwick’s new national battery facility

🕔29.Nov 2017

A partnership between WMG, at the University of Warwick, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Coventry City Council has been awarded £80 million to establish a new National Battery Manufacturing Development Facility (NBMDF). The announcement was made by Greg Clark, the Business Secretary, while attending an energy conference at the University of Warwick today.

The new national facility will be established in the Coventry and Warwickshire area by WMG, the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP and Coventry City Council and it will enable UK based companies and researchers come together to build and maintain a world leading position in manufacturing technologies for batteries and their components in vehicles and transportation.

The Facility will provide, says WMG, a crucial new strategic link between the research, development and full-scale industrialisation for battery technologies across the UK.

It will enable effective partnerships between manufacturers, researchers, and economic development leaders, while remaining independent from commercial interests and it will be governed with transparency.

The facility will assist manufacturers and boost the future vehicle and transportation electrification industry by leading innovation, enabling the creation of products with performance ahead of international benchmarks speeding market entry, enabling rapid growth, and acting as a magnet for inward investment in the key technologies.

It will also significantly scale up UK skills capacity in this area.

The new NBMDF will enable the development of the next generation of battery systems across battery chemistry, electrodes, cell design, module and pack levels. It will have a central location in the Coventry and Warwickshire area providing excellent transport links and is near to established automotive supply chains.

WMG has been working for 15 years with industry to develop and prove new battery technologies. More recently they have been working through the APC Spoke, the National Battery Scale Up facility and the Energy Research Accelerator.

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman of WMG said:

We are delighted to have been successful in the bid to create this new national battery facility here in the Midlands. Working with industry and the supply chain we will develop and expand battery R&D which will see the creation of skilled jobs and developments within the automotive sector.

Having a 37 year track record of working jointly with industry to innovate, and as leaders, for over 10 years, in battery development, WMG are poised to continue to drive forward battery innovation and help create growth and employment in the UK.

Coventry and the sub region has a significant contribution to make in the delivery of the UK’s national industrial strategy, being in a strong position to lead the advancement of battery development, and vehicle electrification and autonomous vehicles. It will be at the heart of the drive to make the city a smart motor city.

Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark said:

Battery technology is one of the most game-changing forms of energy innovation and it is one of the cornerstones of our ambition, through the Industrial Strategy and the Faraday Challenge, to ensure that the UK leads the world, and reaps the economic benefits, in the global transition to a low carbon economy.

The new facility, based in Coventry and Warwickshire, will propel the UK forward in this thriving area, bringing experts from academia and industry together to deliver innovation and R&D that will further enhance the West Midlands’ international reputation as a cluster of automotive excellence.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, tweeted:

Martin Yardley, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), said

We are obviously delighted to have been successful in our joint bid with WMG and Coventry City Council to create the National Battery Manufacturing Development Facility (NBMDF).

 

The National Battery Manufacturing Development was part of the Government’s £246m Faraday Challenge and awarded through a competition led by the Advanced Propulsion Centre, supported by Innovate UK.

The announcement comes in the week when the Government launched its Industrial Strategy White Paper.

 

Andy Street said:

We welcome the launch and will work together to develop a local industrial strategy for the West Midlands that signals a step change in collaboration across business, government and society.

It will create an environment where businesses can thrive and where everyone can access and feel the benefits of our shared economic success.

 

The WMCA, led by the Mayor and supported by the LEPs, said it will aim for early progress ahead of the national timetable to agree Local Industrial Strategies by 2019.

The Mayor added:

This means leveraging our world-leading assets – our energy, talent and commitment to our region – and focusing on priority sectors where we can create and sustain jobs of the future.

We will create the homes, transport links and public service innovation to better connect our communities to these jobs.

We also recognise the importance of investing our people – the human capital – driving future growth through rapid progress on skills, wellbeing and the school-and-work readiness of our young people.

Ulitmately it all adds up to delivering growth that is inclusive – making sure citizens across the region can both participate in and benefit from delivering a net benefit to business and society.

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