A new programme to strengthen ties between battery researchers working in industry and academia has been launched by the UK’s Faraday Institution.
Six Industry Fellowships will enable academics to work in an industrial setting or industrial scientists to work on a project in a university department. Three of the fellowships are aimed at early career academics wanting to gain experience in industry to aid career development.
The aim is for researchers to engage in mutually beneficial electrochemical energy storage research projects as each project aims to solve a critical battery industry problem, with the potential to benefit the wider UK battery industry.
For the first round of fellowships the Faraday Institution will provide funding of £270,000 ($354,000). The projects will last between six and 24 months.
The projects will begin when the enforced lockdown is eased to allow laboratories to reopen.
“This is the Faraday Institution’s latest initiative to deliver application-inspired battery research as part of our mission to accelerate breakthroughs in energy storage technologies,” said Ian Ellerington, head of Technology Transfer at the Faraday Institution. “The programme joins our Entrepreneurial Fellowships, Industry Sprints and our main research projects, all targeted at achieving industry-defined goals.”
The Fellowships are:
Coventry University will work with CB2Tech— a spin-out from proffessor Clare Grey’s group at the University of Cambridge— to demonstrate the high-power potential of niobium tungsten oxides in prototype lithium-ion battery cells of standard commercial sizes. These new anode materials show potential in improving fast-charging capabilities without reducing battery lifetime.
Imperial College London will work with Ilika Technologies to deploy its physics-based battery modelling expertise, including that developed within the Faraday Institution Multi-scale Modelling project, to help Ilika’s cell developers optimise and develop larger format solid-state batteries.
Cranfield University will work with Delta Motorsport to explore potential applications of artificial intelligence to develop novel temperature prediction techniques that improve the performance of battery thermal management systems, bringing possible benefits to battery performance and lifespan.
The University of Sheffield will work with PV3 Technologies to develop processes to control particle morphology and size for next-generation high-nickel cathode materials in a continuous manufacturing process, as part of a long-term aim of maximising battery performance and reducing manufacturing costs.
The University of Sussex will work with CDO2, a business incubator and centre for research commercialisation, to characterise and understand the capability of a newly developed device based on quantum magnetometer technology that could potentially be used to improve the prediction of state-of-health and state-of-charge on-board electric vehicles.
The University of Strathclyde will work with CDO2 to design a micro-electrochemical system (MEMS) fabrication process for a new type of magnetometer to enable its miniaturisation and potential use as a low-cost sensor in battery management systems, helping to estimate state-of-charge and -health and to detect faults early.
Four of the successful applicants are new to the Faraday Institution programme: Coventry University, Cranfield University, University of Sussex and the University of Strathclyde.