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Battery pioneer Britishvolt strengthens partnership with Midlands university in multimillion-pound deal

Written by on 25/06/2022

The company driving plans for an electric battery gigaplant in the North East has extended its contract with WMG, University of Warwick, in a multimillion-pound deal.

Battery technology pioneer Britishvolt has announced the contract extension which will see the university develop battery cell technologies in moves to accelerate their route to market. The deal follows a successful initial 12-month project between the two organisations, triggering the new two-year programme of work.

Britishvolt is currently on site at the former coalyards of the old Blyth Power Station in Northumberland as part of a £3.8bn electric vehicles battery plant project which will eventually lead to 3,000 jobs, as well as thousands more through its supply chain.

Read more: Find more automotive news from BusinessLive here

Recent months have seen the firm announce a number of deals with motor manufacturers, key material suppliers, infrastructure firms and kit manufacturers, as well as a multimillion-pound investment into a 260,000-sqft factory at Hams Hall Park near Birmingham, creating and sustaining in excess of 150 skilled tech jobs.

Last week also saw Britishvolt announce a strategic partnership with Northumberland College and the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre to provide the skills needed for its gigafactory in the North East.

Now research by WMG, in Coventry, will assist with battery cell development, including small-scale manufacturing to produce battery electrodes and cells using Britishvolt target materials sets, formulations and cell designs. They will then be tested according to Britishvolt’s agreed protocols.

Dr Allan Paterson, chief technical officer at Britishvolt, said: “Britishvolt are delighted to extend and expand our relationship and programme of work with WMG, University of Warwick. The battery science, advanced materials and cell prototyping expertise and capability at WMG has directly, and positively, supported our battery technology development programme. This gives us not only an excellent basis to progress from, as we seek to scale and commercialise our technologies, but the relationship also enables Britishvolt to continue to develop our products further, as we continually strive to deliver best-in-class, market-leading, cell technologies to our customers.”

The project is helping Britishvolt to deliver its 38GWh battery gigaplant, one of the largest industrial investments ever undertaken in the UK, which is hoped will open in 2024.

The firm says the facility will quickly increase the availability of batteries required at commercial scale for the electric vehicle market and beyond, playing a key role in helping the UK reach its carbon net zero target by 2050.

Professor David Greenwood, CEO of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult at WMG: “WMG, at the University of Warwick, is delighted to be supporting Britishvolt as they set up large scale battery manufacturing and research facilities in the UK. This industry will be critical for the future of the UK automotive and energy sectors. WMG has been investing over the last decade in the research and development capabilities needed to help Britishvolt and other battery companies to be internationally competitive now and in the future.”

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