The government has announced a £37m funding boost for help to design, test and manufacture electric machines in some of the UK’s most polluting industries.
£30m will be used to create four new, cutting-edge centres of excellence - based in Newport, Nottingham, Strathclyde and Sunderland – which will bring together climate change pioneers to research and develop green electric machines including planes, ships and cars.
Using state of the art equipment, the network will specialise in researching and developing technologies to electrify transport. Each centre, say ministers, 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.
A further £6.7m will be awarded to 14 projects that will help ensure the final buyer in supply chains – such as large automotive manufacturers – can access the parts and components they need to develop electric machines with ease.
Ministers says this investment will have applications for electric vehicles, as well as other industries including rail, marine, aerospace and energy – all with the aim of switching away from fossil fuel technologies.
Alok Sharma, business secretary and COP26 president, 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.
“The £30m 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 to controlling electricity in electric vehicles and ultimately to their widespread roll-out on our streets.”
The four new centres will be based in the following locations:
- DER Centre North East – CESAM (Centre for Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing), International Advanced Manufacturing Park, Sunderland;
- DER Centre Scotland – University of Strathclyde - located in NMIS (The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland) and PNDC (Power Networks Demonstration Centre);
- DER Centre Midlands – Distributed facilities, with a focus on the Power Electronics & Machines Centre, Jubilee Campus, University of Nottingham;
- DER Centre South Wales & South West – Distributed facilities, coordinated by the Compound Semiconductor Application Catapult Innovation Centre, Newport.
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.