£38m funding to upgrade the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre

UKBIC has secured funding to upgrade the facility to support innovation projects for high-tech developers and users of battery technologies.

Enhancing scale-up capability

The new funding for the national battery manufacturing scale-up facility will enhance its offering to customers and enable activities including:

  • additional electrode production equipment to be installed as part of the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre’s (UKBIC) new flexible scale-up line
  • the installation of a flexible 800 square metre of clean and dry industrialisation space for new manufacturing process demonstration
  • development of advanced digital manufacturing capability to transform how data is analysed for innovative products and processes being scaled up at UKBIC

Operational in 2025

The new flexible scale-up line will bridge the gap between UKBIC’s existing volume industrialisation line and kilogramme scale demonstrator lines available elsewhere.

The new capability, which is expected to be operational during 2025, will provide battery developers with an increasingly cost-effective route to market.

This will enable companies to move from research and development through to large-scale production, without having to use overseas facilities.

The funding, announced in November’s Autumn Statement, is being provided by UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) £610 million Faraday Battery Challenge, a national investment programme which is delivered by Innovate UK.

New developments include

Secondary electrode line

A secondary electrode line will offer new modular equipment capacity for coating, drying and calendering of electrodes.

This will allow more innovative processing methods to be developed and trialled alongside existing customer scale-up activities.

Flexible industrialisation space

The creation of a specialist 800 square metre flexible industrialisation space will provide a dedicated clean and dry room environment, which can be subdivided for different use cases.

The space will allow customers to develop their own individual processes or machinery under carefully controlled environmental conditions.

Advanced digital manufacturing

The introduction of advanced digital manufacturing at UKBIC will provide customers with real-time knowledge transfer through the process of continually understanding, developing and improving.

It will give customers access to data analytics, advanced machine learning, and tools for learning and visualisation increasingly required by technology developers.

The funding will enable companies to better understand new data in real-time, but also provide a vital foundation for future developments in smart manufacturing for the battery industry.

‘Go-to place’ for battery development

Tony Harper, Director of 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.

Fantastic news for the industry

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 develop battery manufacturing through to 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.

Find out more about UKRI’s Faraday Battery Challenge.

Join the growing community of organisations working on battery technology in the UK, visit the UK Batteries Network.

Top image:  Credit: UKBIC

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