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 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 to come together to build and maintain a world leading position in manufacturing technologies for batteries and their components in vehicles and transportation. It will provide 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. Skilled employees are the critical resource for sustainable and competitive manufacturing of batteries in the UK and through the NBMDF a learning facility will be created to train the future skills base in all elements of battery manufacturing.
Announcing the investment, UK business minister Greg Clark said the center will help Britain compete globally.
“The new facility 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,” he said.
The new National Battery Manufacturing Development Facility 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. It has vast array of research projects already underway looking at everything from new battery technologies, how to scale up battery manufacturing and even a project exploring how to recycle and reuse such batteries.
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. It is also an initial element of the Government’s new Industrial Strategy. It also addresses the joined-up electrification agenda developed by the Automotive Council and the Advanced Propulsion Centre. It is a key element in leveraging the opportunities in electrification potentially worth £5-£50bn and driving significant jobs growth across the UK.[source: University of Warwick]