£12m awarded to deliver the UK’s National Battery Materials Scale Up Facility

Posted on: 27/11/2023


  • The Faraday Battery Challenge (FBC), delivered by Innovate UK, has awarded the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult £12m to deliver a Battery Materials Scale Up Facility through its centres; CPI, and WMG, University of Warwick.
  • AMBIC will bridge the gap between laboratory research and commercial production for battery material synthesis and processing, as well as facilitating equipment and skills development.
  • AMBIC will be dual located at CPI’s Sedgefield site in the North-East of England and WMG’s facilities at the University of Warwick and will be jointly operated by the two organisations, capitalising on their expertise in battery materials and cell development.

The Faraday Battery Challenge is enhancing battery scale-up support in the UK with a new facility that will give companies access to state-of-the-art materials synthesis and processing equipment. This is part of a co-investment strategy between the FBC and the HVM Catapult, aligned to a common strategic vision for the UK battery scale up ecosystem to support the development of a battery supply chain in the UK.

The Advanced Materials Battery Industrialisation Centre (AMBIC), which will be delivered by the HVM Catapult, will provide innovation capability for the synthesis and processing of immediate and next generation battery materials. It adds to the growing open-access scale up capability being delivered by the FBC which includes the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre and it’s new Flexible Industrialisation Line.

The £12m facility will be delivered by CPI and WMG, two of HVM Catapult’s seven centres of innovation. CPI’s expertise in chemicals processing and WMG’s cell development capabilities will be brought together to allow companies and researchers to scale their innovations from the laboratory to commercially relevant scale and enable “powder to cell” support.

AMBIC will help deliver the UK’s ambitions in battery materials

  • Bringing together scalable, commercially relevant equipment into one facility to fast-track battery materials development
  • Helping to stimulate and grow the chemical and materials supply chain to collaborate and invest in the UK, leading to economic growth and jobs, and attract inward investment
  • Aligning to existing cell manufacturing and validation facilities and supporting the wider UK scale-up ecosystem
  • Having the flexibility to accommodate equipment supplier trials
  • Enabling rapid, cost-effective product and process design
  • Enabling the provision of a skills and training programme complementary to the National Electrification Skills Framework and Forum and other skills activities being supported by the FBC.

Why AMBIC is needed

Innovations in battery materials are a critical pathway for the development of the batteries of the future, reducing cost, improving performance, reducing degradation, and making them more sustainable. Battery active materials make up to approx. half of the cost of a battery pack and are therefore the foundation of any successful battery supply chain. Supporting this development and growth in the UK is fundamental to us securing the supply chain, enabling us to prosper from the electrification transition.

Developing battery materials requires early and prolonged high levels of capital investment in equipment and processing which can be a challenge for many businesses. AMBIC will reduce the capital requirements for emerging, transitioning and established businesses to develop new battery materials and critically produce these at commercially viable scales for validation. This will de-risk the innovation of these materials in the UK and speed up their development.


AMBIC will bring together two emerging regions of battery innovation and manufacturing; the North-East and Midlands, under one facility to de-risk and accelerate battery materials scale up in the UK. Through the Faraday Battery Challenge’s £12m investment in the High Value Manufacturing Catapult we will establish a truly world-class facility to support the growth of a battery materials supply chain. With AMBIC and previous investments in cell, module and pack scale-up at in UKBIC and R&D in the wider ecosystem, the UK will now be in a position to support businesses from “powder to pack” and from lab to commercial scales.

Thomas Bartlett, Challenge Deputy Director for the Faraday Battery Challenge


The next generation of battery technologies are critical to the green energy transition and a major opportunity for UK manufacturing. Realising that potential will require combining our collective expertise and this investment from the Faraday Battery Challenge is a brilliant example of that in action. In CPI and WMG, the Advanced Materials Battery Industrialisation Centre has two centres that are at the very forefront of chemical processing and battery cell development; together they can turbo charge battery materials scale-up.

Katherine Bennett, CEO of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult


The Advanced Materials Batteries Industrialisation Centre will enhance the UK’s existing competitive advantages in batteries technology, and it stands to become a catalyst for the UK to address some of the biggest challenges we face as a nation. By giving innovators the opportunity to harness our expertise we can tackle issues such as climate change, while growing a sector that will be vital to the future of the economy.

“We’re delighted to be involved in developing a world-class facility to support growth in the battery materials supply chain, with the north-east playing a crucial role in supporting businesses to launch their cutting-edge products on the market.

Frank Millar, CEO at CPI


Cathode and anode active materials make up more than 50% of the value of an automotive battery cell. For the UK to take its great academic research into production, and to capture the billions of pounds of resulting economic value in the UK, we need facilities which allow the UK to scale up and fully evaluate new materials. This investment, alongside the combined skillsets of CPI and WMG will provide that capability for the UK.

Professor David Greenwood, CEO of the WMG High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centre

Companies working on innovative batteries solutions, are invited to get in touch to find out how they can benefit from the new Centre, please email Keri.Goodwin@uk-cpi.com.

Find out more about UKRI’s Faraday Battery Challenge. Join the growing community of organisations working on battery technology in the UK, visit the UK Batteries Network.

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