Greg Clark commits £339m for batteries and robotics

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark has confirmed an investment of £339 million for battery storage and robotics for deployment in extreme energy environments. It is part of the Industrial […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark has confirmed an investment of £339 million for battery storage and robotics for deployment in extreme energy environments.

It is part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), initially announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond, with a commitment of more than £1 billion over the next four years across various sectors.

The Faraday Challenge will see an investment of £246 million to boost the design, development and manufacture of batteries for energy storage and electric vehicles.

A total of £93 million will be provided for robotics and artificial intelligence systems that can be deployed in extreme environments in offshore and nuclear energy.

Mr Clark also confirmed that, subject to business case approval, driverless cars will be receiving ISCF grants totalling £38 million in the next four years.

He said: “As part of our Plan for Britain this government wants to create a modern Industrial Strategy to support the key sectors of our economy and spread jobs, prosperity and opportunity around the whole country.

“Through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, we will provide an enormous boost to our world-class research and development sector, to help turn brilliant British innovations into new businesses and good jobs.”

Innovate UK will be supporting a £10 million first wave of projects through the ISCF in each of the areas with a number of smaller projects, starting in 2017 to 2018.

A total of 35 projects have been selected for funding, including fast chargers for electric vehicles.