£38m set to boost the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre

The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) has secured an additional £38m in funding to enhance its scale-up capabilities, supporting innovation projects for high-tech developers and users of battery technologies.

This funding, announced in the Autumn Statement, is focused on upgrading UKBIC’s flexible scale-up line, with preparations for construction already underway.

The funding will improve the national battery manufacturing scale-up facility, allowing for the installation of additional electrode production equipment on the new flexible scale-up line.

It will also include the establishment of an 800m² clean and dry industrialisation space for demonstrating new manufacturing processes and the development of advanced digital manufacturing capabilities to transform data analysis for scaled-up innovative products and processes.

The facility in Coventry, opened in July 2021, supporting organisations with new or existing battery technologies.

The flexible scale-up line, expected to be operational by 2025, will fill the gap between UKBIC’s existing industrialisation line and smaller demonstrator lines.

This new capability aims to provide battery developers with a cost-effective pathway to market, facilitating the transition from R&D to large-scale production without relying on overseas facilities.

Funding for this initiative is part of the UK Government’s £610m Faraday Battery Challenge, administered by Innovate UK under UK Research and Innovation.

Tony Harper, director of the Faraday Battery Challenge, said: “This new funding will help make UKBIC’s world-class scale-up facilities an even more attractive proposition to domestic and global battery developers. UKBIC’s flexible scale-up line, in addition to the new dedicated industrialisation space and the introduction of digital manufacturing capability will further help position the UK and UKBIC as the place to go for battery development and scale-up.”

Sean Gilgunn, UKBIC’s managing director, said: “This latest funding announcement is fantastic news for UKBIC and the battery industry. The investment in the new equipment and capability will mean that many more customers will be able to use the facility seamlessly to develop battery manufacturing through large-scale demonstration.

“The added introduction of digital manufacturing at the facility will provide customers with an even better data-driven understanding of their manufacturing processes, a capability which customers will increasingly expect as the industry evolves.”