All you need to know about the Faraday Challenge 2017

We recently attended an Innovate UK briefing event to understand more about the new Faraday Challenge (part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund). If you want to learn about this funding stream, or didn’t get the opportunity to attend a briefing event yourself, below is our review of the key details.

The Future of vehicles

The needs and behaviors of future generations are the driving force behind innovation and technology development. We know right now that in the future we will be using vehicles which have batteries as their primary source of energy, and that clearly we will need to have completely different business models developed around how energy is stored and used.

‘It is estimated that 50% of vehicle production by 2030 will be electric or plug-in hybrid electric.’

(Source Innovate UK Blog)

The Faraday Challenge, part of the ISCF wave of funding, is set-up specifically to tackle the technological and commercial challenges currently facing UK Industry and Supply Chain. The investment will support the UK in becoming a world-leader in the design, development and manufacture of battery technologies for vehicle electrification.

Investing in the future: Faraday Challenge

In total, £246 million will be invested to develop world leading batteries, designed and manufactured in the UK, to fully exploit the industrial opportunity of vehicle electrification. The funding is made up of:

  • EPSRC – Application led research £80 Million
  • Innovate UK – CR&D £88 Million
  • APC – Demo and testing capabilities £78 Million

For the latest wave of funding (August 2017), the following has been allocated:

  • £10 million for collaborative feasibility studies
    • Feasibility studies expected to be £150k – £1m, 3-12mths in length
  • £30 million for Collaborative R&D Projects
    • R&D expected to be £1m – £15m up to 3 years – must be industry focused and expected to show scale up

For more information on these competitions see our latest funding calls overview. Or visit the Innovate UK (R&D element of the competition) & APC websites for full details.

Key timings and deadlines

Competition opens 25th July 2017
Application deadline NOON 14th September 2017
Invite to interview (R&D only) 6th October 2017
Interviews (R&D only) 26th October – 3rd November
Applicants informed 10th November 2017

Considerations for the scope of the technology

During the briefing event we heard a heavy emphasis on recyclability, range, increased power/energy density and safety. The challenge is looking at new innovations in cell, module and pack production. Other considerations mentioned included:

  • The battery as a system and management systems
  • Recycling and charging times
  • On and Off highway to also be considered (drones, maritime) but not small battery vehicles (wheelchairs and robots
  • Projects will need to show how they draw on fundamental research
  • Main stream and niche markets will be considered as well
  • Out of Scope: Research only (Fundamental), Projects that would fall under APC (Large, high TRL etc.) Non-UK, Non-Automotive battery projects & Other electrical/mechanical energy storage.

For full details on the scope, eligibility and project considerations visit the competition overview on Innovate UK & APC respectively

Ensuring electric vehicle uptake in the future

The Faraday Challenge has big ambitions to become a new ‘application-inspired’ research programme coordinated at national scale and supporting the spirit of collaborative research and co-investment from industry.

The UK has immense potential to become a world-leader in the development and manufacturer of batteries for electric vehicles. However, ‘compatible infrastructure and a unified transport and energy system are also critical to electric vehicle uptake’. The recently launched £20 million Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) competition seeks to support this by funding projects which aid the interaction between electric vehicles and the grid, paving the way for widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

Sources

Innovate UK website and blog

APC website

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