Universities to help Britishvolt drive innovation into battery technology

An agreement between Britishvolt and three of the North East’s Universities will provide support in education and R&D to enhance innovation into battery technology.

Britishvolt, a leading investor in lithium-ion battery cell technologies, has entered into an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Durham, Newcastle and Northumbria Universities to benefit from their expertise.

The partnership will see the three universities providing Britishvolt with support in R&D and innovation with the view to becoming the educational providers of choice moving forward.

Dr. Allan Paterson, chief technology officer of Britishvolt, said: “We are delighted to enter into this partnership with three of the North East’s leading universities, helping us to explore collaborative R&D opportunities looking at future technology advancement and assist in building out the required skills needed to further the UK’s battery industry.

“Alongside the universities we are hoping to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers by familiarising themselves with battery technology and the Britishvolt project.”

The announcement comes as Universities UK (UUK) highlights the economic impact of Universities in the North East this week as part of #GettingResults – a campaign to put universities at the heart of the economic and social recovery. It comes with a renewed commitment from universities to do even more to reach out to new partners locally and nationally and deliver even greater impact than currently estimated.

In addition to this, Britishvolt is also on track to begin construction of its Gigaplant, located in Northumberland, later this year, with production of battery cells due to begin in Q4 2023.

Professor Chris Day, vice-chancellor and president of Newcastle University, commented: “Newcastle University carries out internationally leading battery research in everything from fundamental material science, through battery recycling and safety, to energy systems integration. This vital research into energy storage is pivotal for meeting the country’s net-zero commitments and I’m delighted that with these strengths in science and research we’re working with Britishvolt to ensure they can access the skills required to build the UK’s first battery Gigaplant here in the North East.”

Vice-chancellor of Durham University, professor Stuart Corbridge, said: “Britishvolt’s commitment to North East England is very positive, and a further boost as we seek to lead the UK’s economic revival through and following the Covid-19 pandemic. Durham University undertakes internationally leading research in areas including energy generation, storage, networks and conversion and we’re excited to work with Britishvolt and other North East universities to power up our region’s recovery.”

Professor Andrew Wathey CBE, vice-chancellor and chief executive at Northumbria University, concluded: “Northumbria offers world-leading research in areas such as physical and electrical engineering, energy materials and battery technology and we are looking forward to using these strengths within this partnership to help put the region at the forefront of renewable energy and sustainable transport on a global scale.”

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