Energy storage at the front of the queue in new BEIS Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

While we wait for BEIS to publish their plan in response to the call for evidence on 'a smart flexible energy system' (which we understand will be in late May or early June), it was encouraging to hear BEIS announce on Friday that as part of its £1 billion, 4-year Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund ('ISCF'), energy storage has been prioritised with an investment of £246 million.

The ISCF will focus its spend on 6 key areas, but 'batteries for clean and flexible energy storage' was one of the first 3 areas announced as part of the 2017 Spring Budget. In Friday's (21 April 2017) announcement, Business Secretary Greg Clark confirmed the total investment in each field, with the largest chunk of funding going to the energy storage industry. The objective is simple – to help UK business seize the opportunities presented by the transition to a low carbon economy and to ensure the UK leads the world in the design, development and manufacture of batteries for energy storage and electric vehicles.

The Business Secretary explained, "the UK is home to some of the world's best innovators at the very forefront of global excellence," adding that "the funding … shows …determination and commitment to making sure the UK remains at the very forefront of research innovation for years to come."

Other areas to receive funding included an allocation of £99 million to the satellite and space technology sector. In this field, the funding is being provided for a satellite test facility supporting new launch technologies; and the manufacturing and testing capabilities that will allow the UK to construct future satellites and deliver payloads into orbit.

The ISCF is being administered by Innovate UK and the Research Councils until the new body UK Research and Investment (UKRI) is formed in 2018.

For more information please contact Justin Barrow.