9 May 2018
The Harwell EnergyTec Cluster has been formally launched uniting STFC alongside 29 other academic, public and private organisations all working to find solutions to the energy challenges laid out in the UK’s Industrial Strategy as well as addressing the world’s energy problems.
Experts from the UK’s energy industries and leading research institutions met today at the launch of the Harwell Campus EnergyTec Cluster and the opening of the Faraday Institution’s headquarters.
The EnergyTec Cluster aims to become a global hub for innovation and Harwell is already acting as a catalyst in accelerating the UK’s energy capabilities with its distinguished heritage in energy research and many world firsts, including its innovation and commercialisation roles in battery research.
Dr Barbara Ghinelli, STFC Director of Campus Business Development and Cluster Lead commented on the launch: “The Harwell EnergyTec Cluster is part of a well-established entrepreneurial ecosystem that facilitates collaboration and risk sharing, makes it easier to attract new investments and gain economies of scale whilst also tapping into a pool of highly-skilled people.”
Core areas of focus for the cluster will include energy storage and battery technologies, carbon neutral alternatives to fossil fuels and smart technologies that will shape the future of carbon-free building design. These innovations and their derivatives will influence every aspect of life across work, leisure and recreation, improving the environment and developing sustainable alternatives for the future.
The Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “The way we live, travel and work is changing rapidly with the development and adoption of new technologies.
“The UK leads the world in tackling climate change and batteries will form a cornerstone of our future low carbon economy. This landmark investment to launch the Faraday Institution and Harwell EnergyTec Cluster, through our Modern Industrial Strategy, ensures the UK will lead the world in powering the next global energy revolution.”
Professor Bill David, Professor at the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, Oxford and at STFC’s ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, was part of John Goodenough’s team who worked on the discovery of the modern lithium-ion battery in the early 1980s; he added: “There is a recognised worldwide imperative to move to green and clean energy solutions and the UK is well placed to make major contributions to this global grand challenge. The Faraday Institution and the Harwell Campus are key exemplars of initiatives that will educate, enable and inspire new generations of UK scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to invent, innovate and commercialise radically new solutions that will create UK jobs, UK companies and global solutions.”
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Harwell is perfectly placed to be the catalyst for accelerating the UK’s energy capabilities with its distinguished heritage in energy research and many world firsts, including its innovation and commercialisation roles in battery research, since its conception for R&D purposes as the UK’s centre for civil nuclear energy research in 1946.
The Government’s confidence that Harwell is central to the success of the UK economy is evident from a £267 million of investment in 2017 which will see the new Faraday Institution (£78 million), Rosalind Franklin Institute (£100 million) and National Satellite Testing Facility (£99 million) located at Harwell.
Harwell Campus is rapidly expanding via a private public partnership between Harwell Oxford Partners and U+I, plus two Government backed agencies, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (UKRI STFC) and the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA).
The Faraday Institution is the UK’s independent institute for electrochemical energy storage science and technology, supporting research, training, and analysis. Bringing together expertise from universities and industry, the Faraday Institution aims to make the UK the go-to place for the research, development, manufacture and production of new electrical storage technologies for both the automotive and wider relevant sectors.
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