Funding competition Faraday Challenge: Scale up - National Battery Manufacturing Development Facility

UK businesses and research organisations can apply for funding. This will establish a National Battery Manufacturing Development Facility as part of the Faraday Challenge Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

This competition is now closed.

Register and apply online

Competition sections


As part of the Government’s Faraday Challenge Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the Advanced Propulsion Centre are working in partnership with Innovate UK. This is to establish a UK Battery Manufacturing and Development Facility funded by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy. The facility will establish and maintain a leading position in manufacturing technologies for batteries and their components.

We expect building work of the facility to start at the end of 2017 and last a maximum of 24 months.

UK organisations or consortia of any size can apply.

This brief is intended to give you a brief summary of the scope and eligibility for this competition. For full details on the scope, eligibility and application process, please read the guidance for applicants.

The Faraday Challenge represents a completely joined up national innovation system, supporting projects from fundamental research (EPSRC) through development and innovation (Innovate UK) to industrial scale up (APC). Innovate UK are delivering the parallel Innovation Feasibility Study and Collaborative Research and Development competitions.

Funding type


Project size

Eligible project costs are anticipated to exceed £40 million.

Find out if you are eligible to apply

To lead a project you must:

  • be a UK based organisation
  • be an organisation of any size
  • carry out your project in the UK
  • be able to clearly demonstrate the current state aid proposition that your proposal follows, and how this satisfies this regulation.

Projects that we won't fund

In this competition we are not funding projects covering:

  • manufacture and development of Battery Manufacturing System (BMS) hardware and/or software
  • installation of battery packs in vehicles, or the engineering of vehicles to accept battery packs

Funding and project details

The £246 million Faraday Challenge Fund is divided by Research, Innovation and Scale Up. The successful bidder will receive a share of the allocation for Scale Up. As this is an industrial scale facility, we anticipate project costs in excess of £40 million. For projects significantly in excess of £40 million in value you must contact Innovate UK at least 10 days before the competition deadline.

The Faraday Challenge will co-fund a single successful project. The Advanced Propulsion Centre is leading on this aspect of the Faraday Challenge in partnership with Innovate UK. The winning application must demonstrate that it has wide ranging cross-sector support for its proposal from:

  • original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)
  • supply chain partners covering all Tiers (1, 2, 3 etc.)
  • small to medium enterprises (SMEs)
  • research and technology organisations (RTOs)
  • academia

Key funding criteria:

  • only organisations with UK operations may apply.
  • the project must be undertaken in the UK
  • the build aspect of the project is expected to last a maximum of 24 months.
  • construction of the facility should be complete by late 2019 or early 2020, with the facility operational by early 2020.
We will assess proposals for value for money. The amount of grant funding you request should be the minimum amount you need for the project to proceed.

Project types

We will give priority to proposals that:

  • have the capability to deliver in the timescale
  • can demonstrate a well-established consortium
  • can demonstrate they are able to co-fund
  • have existing capabilities in the relevant product and process technology areas

You may apply for funding support up to 100% of your eligible project costs if you or the delivery organisation involved is a non-profit distributing research organisation. In this case, you must demonstrate how the co funding for investment in the facility will be contributed after the project.

The successful application must show that the project will be compliant with all relevant general State Aid regulations.

Competition scope

The Faraday Challenge Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is looking to co-fund to a single bid. This will be to design, create and operate a battery facility in the UK. This facility must be able to develop next generation manufacturing solutions for cell and module formats that can be proven in high volume, (equivalent to 1 GWh/annum).

This turnkey facility will be internationally recognised as a world leader in the development of battery manufacturing technologies.

The facility will support scale-up activity for automotive batteries. It will be a national open access, flexible prototyping and pilot production facility for cell and module manufacture. The facility will be equipped similarly to a full production factory, but with greater flexibility to product and process.

It is expected this facility will be used by government supported and privately funded research and development (R&D) projects as part of a complete UK battery R&D ecosystem.

The facility will be used to develop the manufacturing tools and methods required for mass production. It will demonstrate that they can be run at the required rate of production, in a robust and reliable manner, meeting product quality targets.

It is expected projects that use the facility will then progress to industry investment in commercial battery facilities in the UK.

It must:

  • provide a pilot manufacturing plant with the capability to simultaneously trial and prove-out initial production runs of advanced battery components and assemblies
  • enable and scale-up advanced battery product and manufacturing technology to feed implementation into high volume production
  • enable the development and scale-up of advanced battery cell and module technologies designed for high volume production
  • enable the development of advanced battery manufacturing processes and machine technology for high volume production
  • provide access for UK companies to cell and battery technologies not yet available in the open commodity market
  • provide a collaborative “learning factory” to speed up learning and develop vital skills for the UK battery industry

It must also:

  • have “open to all” capability, but also able to run a number of OEM and Tier 1 projects in commercially confidential areas where required
  • enable volume rate (equivalent to at least 1 GWh / annum trial out, quality assurance verification of manufactured product, before the fitment to end vehicle or application
  • enable teaching and skills development to increase the UK skill base for the emerging UK battery industry
  • provide a degree of public engagement, such as having an interactive exhibition to engage school age pupils, as well as the facility to host events and visits
  • actively encourage participation at all levels of the battery supply chain
Consideration should be given to product and manufacturing processes that are compatible with end of life reuse and re-cycling (but the re-cycling of batteries is not within the scope of this facility).

Specific competition themes

The facility should include the following manufacture stages:

  • electrode materials (current and near-future technologies): mixing and anode/cathode coating
  • cells: in a variety of formats; manufacture, formation and testing
  • modules: build and test

25 July 2017
Competition opens
28 July 2017
Webinar briefing on the competition process - watch the recording.
3 August 2017
Webinar briefing on the competition scope - watch the recording.
7 September 2017 12:00pm
Registration closes
14 September 2017 12:00pm
Competition closes
29 September 2017
Feedback and interview invite.
19 October 2017
Interview period begins.
20 October 2017
Interview period ends.
30 October 2017
Validation panel.
6 November 2017
Validation panel.
10 November 2017
Applicants notified

Before you start

To apply:

  • register online
  • read the detailed guidance for applicants for this competition. This explains the scope, eligibility criteria and application process in detail.
  • attend the optional briefing event or watch the recording (available under the dates tab)

Background and further information

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund was created to provide funding and support to UK businesses and researchers. This is part of the government’s £4.7 billion increase in research and development over the next 4 years.

The Fund is being administered by Innovate UK and the Research Councils.

It was designed to ensure that research and innovation takes centre stage in the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

As part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the Faraday Challenge is an investment of £246 million over 4 years. It was set up to help UK businesses seize the opportunities presented by the transition to a low carbon economy; to ensure the UK leads the world in the design, development and manufacture of batteries for the electrification of vehicles.

Batteries for future electrified vehicles are recognised as a major global opportunity for the UK.

Around 50% of the value of future vehicles will be related to the battery and its supporting systems. Future investment decisions around battery development and their manufacture in the UK will likely influence significant wider investment decisions by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including vehicle production. The complete supply chain for batteries at scale for the automotive sector does not yet fully exist, representing an opportunity for the UK.

The UK manufactures over 2 million engines per year currently, employing large numbers of highly skilled workers. It is widely thought that the number of internal combustion engines will reduce over time as the automotive sector moves towards electrified vehicles.

The UK now has the ecosystem to place itself as a leader in future battery research, innovation and high volume manufacturing for the global automotive market.

The Faraday Challenge represents a completely joined up national innovation system. It starts with EPSRC universities Battery Institute and competitive calls for application inspired fundamental research. This links to the parallel Innovation competition which pushes technology towards commercialisation with APC Scale Up funding and this competition to establish a National Battery Manufacturing Development Facility.

If you need more information, contact:

The APC or call +44 (0)24 7652 8700.

The APC is able to help by providing general guidance regarding the interpretation of competition rules and guidelines on an informal basis. Help your consortia to structure the bid development process, explain common pitfalls and aid you regarding whether your project is in scope.

Innovate UK competition helpline on 0300 321 4357 or email us at

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