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The opening of the Energy Innovation Centre at WMG

14 March 2016

The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills visited WMG to open the £50m Energy Innovation Centre.

Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP opens the Energy Innovation Centre (Credit: WMG)

The Energy Innovation Centre is one of seven R&D centres on the Warwick campus and is a key part of the WMG centre High Value Manufacturing Catapult activity.

The Energy Innovation Centre is a centre for innovation for the development of new battery chemistries. It is at the forefront of research, providing guidance and technical know-how in three key areas of Energy Storage; Energy Management; and Complex Electrical Systems.

The Centre includes a £13m Battery Materials Scale-Up Pilot Line for the development of new battery chemistries from concept to fully proven traction batteries, available in sufficient quantities for industrial scale testing. The Centre also includes a battery characterisation laboratory, aggressive testing chambers and an electric/hybrid drives test facility.

The £80m research programs are focused on the immediate priority of developing cheaper, higher energy density, safer batteries but will over time extend to other technologies such as fuel cells, ultra-capacitors and inductive charging.

The Secretary of State heard how the Centre has already helped attract four multi-million pound projects in the last year which will be crucial for the future of battery technology in the UK.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“WMG is a world leader in battery technology research that supports the evolution of electric vehicles, promoting innovation and attracting investment to the local area.

“The Midlands Engine is home to a diverse range of exciting businesses and universities and its continued success is creating highly-skilled jobs.”

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, WMG Chairman said:

“I am delighted that the Secretary of State has opened our Energy Innovation Centre. Electric and hybrid vehicles are the future of automotive and we have a long history of research impact in hybrid, electric and low carbon vehicles which he has been able to see first-hand.”

Last March WMG was named as the "Electrical Energy Storage Spoke” of the government and industry funded £1 billion Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), to co-ordinate a technical community with a shared interest in battery systems. WMG has made significant investments over the last 10 years to build expertise and facilities in the scale-up and evaluation of battery systems. As a result of these investments, and a strong network of academic and industrial partners, WMG was identified as the logical location to host the Electrical Energy Storage Spoke for the APC.

Since then there have been three further project announcements, working with companies such as Nissan, Faradion, Moxia Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, JCB, including leading a £14 million consortium to create a new automotive battery pack manufacturing research centre. AMPLiFII (Automated Module-to-pack Pilot Line for Industrial Innovation) will develop new knowledge, skills, technology and facilities to support UK industry seeking to use these new technologies and processes in vehicle battery systems. Working with Nissan, on a £19.4m project to take forward the development of next-generation electric vehicle batteries in the UK, WMG will investigate potential improvements to battery chemistry and increasing manufacturing yield, and to optimise automated manufacturing processes. And finally a £5.4 million project to exploit the world leading UK innovations in the area of battery technology.

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