The first phase of a four-year £246m Government investment into battery technology is being launched to make batteries more accessible and affordable.
Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark will unveil details of the first phase, known as the Faraday Challenge, on Monday.
This will include a £45m competition to establish a centre for battery research which he says will help make the UK a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of electric batteries.
This will be spearheaded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to bring the best minds and facilities together to create a ‘battery institute’.
A three-month consultation earlier this year on an industrial strategy to increase UK productivity and growth attracted more than 1,900 written responses from businesses and organisations.
A shift to cleaner energy and technologies such as electric cars has made the design, development and manufacture of batteries a top industrial priority.
The long-term vision also includes creating giant battery facilities around the National Grid to store excess wind and solar energy for when demand rises.
Mr Clark will tell a meeting hosted by the Resolution Foundation in Birmingham: “To enjoy a high and rising standard of living we must plan to be more productive than in the past.
“Economists have pointed to what they have called a productivity puzzle in Britain. That we appear to generate less value for our efforts than, say, people in Germany or France.
“In other words, we have to work longer to get the same rewards.
“It’s not that we want – or need – people to work longer hours. It’s that we need to ensure that we find and seize opportunities to work more productively as a country, as cities and regions, as businesses and as individuals.
“If we can do so, we can increase the earning power of our country and our people.”
He will say: “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.”
“The Faraday Challenge is a new way of working,” said Philip Nelson, chief executive of the EPSRC.
“It will bring together the best minds in the field, draw on others from different disciplines, and link intimately with industry, innovators and other funders… to ensure we maintain our world-leading position and keep the pipeline of fundamental science to innovation flowing.”
In a separate announcement, energy regulator Ofgem is expected to outline plans for people across the UK to generate and store their own electricity to help reduce bills.
Source: Sky News