UK taps Jaguar Land Rover to head up battery research group

February 07, 2018 // By Nick Flaherty
Tony Harper, director of Engineering Research at car maker Jaguar Land Rover, has been appointed as Director of the UK's Faraday Battery Challenge research and commercialisation programme.

He will join UK Research and Innovation in April 2018 to lead the Challenge, the UK government’s £246 million investment to develop safe, cost-effective, durable, lighter weight, higher performing and recyclable batteries in the UK. It is part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

He will work across Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), who will jointly deliver the challenge, and work closely with the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).

Tony has been working as Director of Engineering Research at Jaguar Land Rover since 2006. He is a chartered engineerand a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, as well as an honorary fellow of the University of Warwick, which hosts the Warwick manufacturing Group, a key partner in the APC and battery development and prototyping.

“This is a unique opportunity to maximise the advantage for the UK from the shift to the electrification of transport by creating a high-tech, high-value, high-skill industry in battery technology,” said Harper. “It is also a very exciting time to be joining UK Research and Innovation as it sets out to become the best research and innovation agency in the world.”

“With 200,000 electric vehicles set to be on UK roads by the end of 2018, investment in car batteries is a massive opportunity for Britain and one that, through our flagship Industrial Strategy and the Automotive Sector Deal, the government is committed to seizing,” said Richard Harrington, UK  Business Minister.

The Faraday Battery Challenge has announced the multi-million pound Faraday Institution to speed up research, innovation and scale-up novel battery technologies, and a £80 million investment through the APC for the UK’s first automotive battery manufacturing development facility

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