News story

Director appointed for Faraday Battery Challenge

Automotive R&D expert Tony Harper will lead work under the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to develop batteries for the next generation of vehicles.

A battery
Tony Harper is the new director of the Faraday Battery Challenge

Jaguar Land Rover’s Director of Engineering Research, Tony Harper has been appointed as Director, Faraday Battery Challenge.

Tony will join UK Research and Innovation in April 2018 to lead the Faraday Battery Challenge. This is government’s £246 million investment to develop safe, cost-effective, durable, lighter weight, higher performing and recyclable batteries in the UK. It is part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

He will work across Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), who will jointly deliver the challenge, and work closely with the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).

Learn more about the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Leading industry experience

Tony has been working as Director of Engineering Research at Jaguar Land Rover since 2006. He is a chartered engineer, a fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and the Royal Academy of Engineering, and an honorary fellow of the University of Warwick.

In addition, he is an elected member of the UK Automotive Council Technology Group and sits on a number of industry advisory councils.

Tony said:

This is a unique opportunity to maximise the advantage for the UK from the shift to the electrification of transport by creating a high-tech, high-value, high-skill industry in battery technology.

It is also a very exciting time to be joining UK Research and Innovation as it sets out to become the best research and innovation agency in the world.

Innovate UK Chief Executive, Ruth McKernan, said:

Tony’s long-standing experience and expertise in automotive research and development means he is the ideal candidate to lead the ground-breaking Faraday Battery Challenge.

He will have an important role to play in ensuring the UK is a world leader in the development of automotive battery technologies.

Business Minister Richard Harrington added:

With 200,000 electric vehicles set to be on UK roads by the end of 2018, investment in car batteries is a massive opportunity for Britain and one that, through our flagship Industrial Strategy and the Automotive Sector Deal, the government is committed to seizing.

To realise our grand ambitions we need great leadership, which is why I am delighted that someone as talented and respected in the sector as Tony Harper will be spearheading our efforts to make Britain the ‘go-to’ destination for the development and deployment of this game-changing technology.

Work so far

The Faraday Battery Challenge has already made strong progress.

This includes the multi-million pound Faraday Institution to speed up research, innovation and scale-up novel battery technologies, and a £80 million investment through the APC for the UK’s first automotive battery manufacturing development facility

Faraday Battery Challenge CWLEP Video

Innovate UK has also invested £40 million across 27 battery research and development projects.

Independent institute HSSMI are one such project to get funding. It will conduct research into batteries at the end of their life and look at how these could be reused, remanufactured or recycled.

Faraday Battery Challenge HSSMI video

Innovate UK is inviting applications in a second round of collaborative research and development funding under the Faraday Battery Challenge. Find out more and apply.

Published 6 February 2018