Further to energy funding announcements made earlier this year, Business Secretary Greg Clark has now released the Industrial Strategy, which commits over £1 billion of funding over the next four years.
The funding focuses on six key areas covering everything from healthcare and medicine to robotics, artificial intelligence, satellites, space technology and ‘materials of the future’. Energy funding will focus on batteries ‘for clean and flexible energy storage’ and also self-driving vehicles.
Supporting a low carbon transition through energy funding
The latest update on the Industrial Strategy confirms the amount of funding available for each field and the largest portion of funding (£246 million) is for flexible energy, which has been named the ‘Faraday Challenge’.
“Clean and flexible energy or the ‘Faraday Challenge’: an investment of £246 million over 4 years to help UK businesses seize the opportunities presented by the transition to a low carbon economy, to ensure the UK leads the world in the design, development and manufacture of batteries for the electrification of vehicles.” Driverless vehicles will also receive £38m for collaborative R&D projects.
Commenting on the announcements, Energy Secretary Greg Clark said, “the UK is home to some of the world’s best innovators at the very forefront of global excellence. The funding I am announcing today, providing hundreds of millions of pounds of support to develop the next generation of technologies across a range of sectors, shows our determination and commitment to making sure the UK remains at the very forefront of research innovation for years to come.”
Innovate UK and the Research Councils are administering the fund until the new body UK Research and Investment (UKRI) is formed in 2018. Innovate UK will support £10 million of initial projects through the ISCF (Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund) in each of the 6 areas with a number of smaller projects, starting in 2017 and 2018. Thirty-five projects have been selected for funding and include exciting innovations in fast chargers for electric vehicles through to the use of aerospace technology in biomedical prosthetics.