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Faraday battery challenge: Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

An overview of government's programme to develop cost-effective, high-performance, durable, safe, low-weight and recyclable batteries.

What is the Faraday battery challenge?

The Faraday battery challenge is part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, designed to ensure research and innovation takes centre stage in the UK government’s Industrial Strategy.

Through an investment of £246 million, the challenge addresses the productivity gap in a growing market worth an estimated £5 billion in the UK and £50 billion across Europe by 2025.

The challenge is addressing 8 key targets of automotive battery technology which will allow the UK to realise its commitment to move to full electrification and zero emissions vehicles. It is also expected to translate into other sectors, including aerospace and rail.

These are represented by 3 activities within the challenge:

  • the Faraday Institution
  • funding for research and innovation projects
  • the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre

Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council will deliver the challenge on behalf of UK Research and Innovation.

What is the Faraday battery challenge?

Faraday Institution

With £78 million in funding from the Faraday battery challenge, the Faraday Institution is a charitable trust with a mission to make significant scientific breakthroughs in electrochemical energy storage research.

It brings together expertise from universities and industry to support research, training and analysis in battery science and technology.

Four initial research projects, involving 20 universities and 30 industry partners, have been awarded £42 million to look into extending battery life; battery system modelling; recycling and reuse; and next generation solid-state batteries.

Initial funding for the Faraday Institution has been provided by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The Faraday Institution - the ReLib Project

The video above introduces the Faraday Institution and features the ReLiB Project – 1 of 4 initial research projects managed by the Institution and led by the University of Birmingham.

The goal of the project is to establish an infrastructure in the UK that makes the recycling of materials in lithium-ion batteries from the automotive sector as efficient as possible.

Funding for research and innovation projects

Businesses are benefitting from funding of £88 million for collaborative research and development projects and feasibility studies into battery technologies.

Funding competitions will give businesses opportunities to lead feasibility studies and collaborative R&D innovation projects in battery technologies.

Any UK business or research and technology organisation may be eligible to apply to lead a project.

You will need to be based in the UK, carry out your project and exploit the results here.

Depending on the scope of the competition you may also work with other businesses, academic institutions, charities, public sector organisations or research and technology organisations.

Projects must involve at least one small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).

The scope of the competitions may include:

  • reducing the costs of battery cells or packs
  • increasing the energy or power density
  • enhancing safety by eliminating risks such as thermal runaway, which is a condition where there is an increasing rise in temperature that affects efficiency and may lead to a destructive reaction or failure
  • lengthening the life of cells and packs
  • broadening the range of temperature at which a pack can operate efficiently
  • new models to better predict the range and health of the battery
  • increasing recyclability of battery packs such as through design, reuse or recycling
  • improving the production of cells, modules and packs
  • improving the integration of cells into modules, packs and vehicles
  • new battery management systems
  • technologies, systems and infrastructure that enable fast charging
  • any technology or process that stimulates innovation in the manufacture, performance and supply of materials for batteries

In November 2017, £38 million was awarded to 27 projects involving 66 organisations addressing a range of technical areas from cell materials to pack integration, to battery management systems and recycling.

In June 2018, a further £22 million was awarded to 12 projects involving 40 organisations focusing on developments in solid-state batteries, understanding battery safety and advanced battery management systems.

A third round of funding will see up to £25 million awarded to collaborative research and development projects and feasibility studies.

Funded research and innovation projects

Working together, iCoNiChem and Warwickshire Manufacturing Group want to improve the recycling of rare materials used in batteries.

Faraday Battery Challenge award winners - iCoNiChem & WMG

Deregallera is working on a hybrid energy storage system to extend the life of an electric vehicle battery by 50%.

Faraday Battery Challenge award winners - Deregallera

Ilika Technologies is developing a solid-state battery that should have a longer life and higher energy and power density.

Faraday Battery Challenge award winners - Ilika Technologies

Brill Power will explore how its battery management control system could enhance the manufacture and performance of batteries for electric vehicles.

ISCF winners. Faraday Battery Challenge - Brill Power

HSSMI will look at how automotive batteries at their end-of-life can be reused, remanufactured or recycled for other applications.

ISCF winners. Faraday Battery Challenge - HSSMI

UK Battery Industrialisation Centre

A consortium is leading the creation of an £80 million UK Battery Industrialisation Centre that will improve the development of UK battery manufacturing for the production of electric vehicles.

Through open access to manufacturing knowledge and capability, the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre will enable industry to achieve an internationally competitive position. Initially focused on the automotive sector, it will have wider applications in future.

It will maintain this position by scaling up and commercialising advanced technologies central to the development and manufacture of battery cells, modules and packs.

This will be achieved by:

  • supply chain organisations and original equipment manufacturers trialling and validating manufacturing processes at industrial rates
  • allowing companies of all sizes to rapidly move new battery technologies to market through research and development
  • development of manufacturing tools and methods for mass production of cells, modules or packs
  • demonstration of production-rate reliability and quality in new or optimised processes practical skills development and training for a growing battery industry

The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre will open in Coventry in 2020 and is delivered by the Advanced Propulsion Centre.

A consortium of Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Warwick Manufacturing Group and Coventry City Council will establish the facility.

ISCF winners - Faraday Battery Challenge - Battery facility

Find out more about the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre

Live funding opportunities

Find out more

Published 2 March 2018
Last updated 4 December 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated activities and wording within the challenges and added new case studies.
  2. Added a video case study for a project led by ICoNiChem, which has been awarded a grant through the Faraday battery challenge for collaborative research and development.
  3. Added 2 new videos for Deregallera and Ilika Technologies, which have both been awarded a grant through the latest Faraday battery challenge research and development competition. Link added to live funding opportunity.
  4. Added the new full name of the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre
  5. First published.