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UK Battery Industrialisation Centre Receives £38 Million Boost to Advance Battery Technologies

by Anna

In a significant development for the future of battery technologies, the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) has secured an additional £38 million in funding. This funding, announced as part of the Autumn statement, is aimed at upgrading the facility’s scale-up capabilities, providing vital support for innovation projects by high-tech developers and users of battery technologies.

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This funding supplements the £36 million commitment made by the Faraday Battery Challenge in May and underscores the UK government’s commitment to fostering advancements in battery manufacturing. The investment will primarily focus on enhancing UKBIC’s innovative flexible scale-up line, with preparations for facility construction already in progress.

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The expanded funding will facilitate several key initiatives at UKBIC:

Additional Electrode Production Equipment: The funding will enable the installation of additional electrode production equipment as part of UKBIC’s new flexible scale-up line. This enhancement will contribute to the efficiency and capacity of the facility.

800m2 Clean & Dry Industrialisation Space: A dedicated clean and dry industrialisation space spanning 800 square meters will be established for new manufacturing process demonstrations. This specialized environment can be subdivided for various use cases, providing a controlled setting for customers to develop individual processes or machinery.

Development of Advanced Digital Manufacturing Capability: UKBIC will focus on developing advanced digital manufacturing capabilities, revolutionizing the analysis of data related to innovative products and processes being scaled up at the facility. This initiative aims to provide real-time knowledge transfer, incorporating data analytics, advanced machine learning, and tools for learning and visualization.

The centerpiece of this expansion is the introduction of a flexible scale-up line, anticipated to be operational by 2025. This line will act as a bridge between UKBIC’s existing volume industrialization line and kilogram-scale demonstrator lines available elsewhere. Its purpose is to offer battery developers a cost-effective route to market, allowing seamless progression from research and development to large-scale production without relying on overseas facilities.

The funding for these developments is part of the UK Government’s £610 million Faraday Battery Challenge, a national investment program delivered by Innovate UK. This initiative supports the development of world-class scientific technology and manufacturing scale-up capabilities for batteries within the UK.

Tony Harper, director of the Faraday Battery Challenge, emphasized the significance of this funding, stating that it will make UKBIC’s scale-up facilities more attractive to domestic and global battery developers. The flexible scale-up line, dedicated industrialization space, and digital manufacturing capability position the UK and UKBIC as leading hubs for battery development and scale-up.

Sean Gilgunn, UKBIC’s managing director, expressed enthusiasm about the funding, stating that the investment in new equipment and capabilities will allow more customers to seamlessly develop battery manufacturing through large-scale demonstration. He emphasized that the introduction of digital manufacturing will provide customers with a better data-driven understanding of their manufacturing processes, meeting evolving industry expectations.

The Coventry-based UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, operational since July 2021, serves organizations with both new and existing battery technologies, offering crucial battery manufacturing scale-up and skills for the growing battery sector.

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