LONDON, England – The Business Secretary unveiled a total of £36.7 million in UK government investment £30 million will be used to create a network of industrial centres specialising in the research and development of electric transport.
The CSA Catapult Innovation Centre in Newport will use a share of the £30 million to become one of four ‘Driving the Electric Revolution’ Centres for Excellence. The centres will bring together climate change pioneers to research and develop green electric machines including planes, ships, and cars.
Each centre will propel UK manufacturing to the forefront of global efforts to tackle climate change and ensure the UK can reach net zero emissions by 2050.
The UK Secretary of State for Business and COP 26 President Alok said: “The electric revolution is an opportunity for our transport sectors to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels. The UK is leading the way in developing cleaner technologies to help us reach our target of zero emissions by 2050 and these new centres will play an important part in that.”
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: “The Centre for Excellence created in Newport will generate productivity across the south Wales region, boosting the economy whilst driving forward Welsh innovation and research. The UK Government is committed to meeting its 2050 net-zero emissions pledge. I saw first-hand how the CSA Catapult Innovation Centre will help us reach our ambitious goal and put the country at the forefront of green innovation during my visit to Newport today.”
The £30 million industrialisation centres will provide a home for virtual product development, digital manufacturing, and advanced assembly techniques, that could drive world-leading improvements in the testing and manufacturing of electric machines.
This includes power electronics, electric machines, and drives – all of which are crucial in electric vehicles and ultimately to their widespread rollout on our streets.
More than 30 partner research and technology organisations will be a part of the industrialisation centres. The network will be headed up by lead partner Newcastle University, along with 21 other universities from around the UK, plus 13 Research and Technology Organisations – and will be essential in attracting both foreign direct investment and new, innovative entrants into this space.
Driving the electric revolution challenge
The Business Secretary also announced the 14 winning projects for the UK government’s Driving the Electric Revolution challenge. One of the successful projects, TRW of Pontypool, will work with Romax Technology to help boost supply chain efficiencies in industries affected by electrification, from aerospace to automotive, to energy and rail.
A total of £6.7 million will be shared by the 14 projects, which comprise 38 major businesses from around the UK, including GKN, Jaguar Land Rover and Rolls-Royce.
The announcement comes as prime minister Boris Johnson held the first meeting of a new Cabinet committee focused on tackling climate change; discussing how the UK government can go further and faster towards net zero.