Greg Clarke web
Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark at the University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham today welcomed Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark for a keynote speech on the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

Mr Clark took the opportunity to launch the first phase of a £246 million Government investment into battery technology to ensure the UK leads the world in the design, development and manufacture of electric batteries.

Known as the Faraday Challenge, the four-year investment round is a key part of the government’s Industrial Strategy and will deliver a coordinated programme of competitions to boost research and development of expertise in battery technology.

Speaking at the University’s School of Chemical Engineering, Mr Clark said: "We have great strengths. Our economy has been extraordinarily good at creating jobs. When we look at our closest neighbours, we can be truly proud of the fact almost everyone of working age in this country is in work and earning.

“One of the strengths of an industrial strategy is to be able to bring together concerted effort on areas of opportunity that have previously been in different sectors, or which require joining forces between entrepreneurs, scientists and researchers, industries, and local and national government.

"So as part of our Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund I am today launching the Faraday Challenge, which will put £246 million into research, innovation and scale-up of battery technology.”

The first element of the challenge will be a competition led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to bring the best minds and facilities together to create a Battery Institute. The most promising research completed by the Institute will be moved closer to the market through industrial collaborations led by Innovate UK.