PM's post-Brexit strategy includes energy storage and battery research centre


Theresa May's industrial strategy will include a move to make post-Brexit Britain a world leader in cutting-edge energy storage and battery technology with the creation of a new research institution.

Battery storage has been described by the United States as a "holy grail" of renewable technology and the Prime Minister has ordered a review of options to create a new research institution in the field, Downing Street said.

Chief scientific adviser Sir Mark Walport will analyse options for a new institute to build on existing strengths in universities and companies in battery technology, energy storage and grid technology. He will report back in early 2017.

Mrs May will set out her industrial strategy next week.

It will form a key plank of her efforts to spread economic growth around the country and make Britain "match fit" for leaving the European Union.

Battery technology is important in a range of new technologies, including electric cars, consumer electronics, and smart energy grids that respond to consumer demand.

Mrs May has already made battery technology a priority for the industrial strategy challenge fund, which will direct Government investment into scientific research and the development of new technologies.

It is part of efforts to boost Britain's public and private spend on research and development, which currently stands at 1.7% of GDP, below the OECD average of 2.4%.

It is also substantially below global innovation leaders such as Japan, South Korea, Israel, Sweden, Finland and Denmark, which contribute more than 3% of their GDP to research and development.