A NEW £50 million Energy Innovation Centre at the University of Warwick has been officially opened with a visited from the business secretary.
Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills formally opened the new centre – the largest of its kind in Europe – with a visit to the university’s Canley-based campus.
The Energy Innovation Centre is working on developing of new battery chemistries and is at the forefront of research and providing guidance and technical know-how in energy storage, energy management and complex electrical systems.
The £80m research programmes are focused on developing cheaper, higher energy density, safer batteries but will over time extend to other technologies such as fuel cells, ultra-capacitors and inductive charging.
Visiting the campus, the business secretary heard how the centre has already helped attract four multi-million pound projects in the last year which will be crucial for the future of battery technology in the UK.
Mr Javid said: “Today I’m pleased to be opening the Energy Innovation Centre at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG).
“WMG is a world leader in battery technology research that supports the evolution of electric vehicles, promoting innovation and attracting investment to the local area.
“The Midlands Engine is home to a diverse range of exciting businesses and universities and its continued success is creating highly-skilled jobs.
“Today’s announcement is another example of why the economy here has been outperforming the rest of the country since 2010.”
WMG is the largest manufacturing group in the world with 700 staff and an annual programme of £180m, with the new Energy Innovation Centre just one of seven research and development centres on the Warwick campus.
Welcoming the business secretary’s business, Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, WMG Chairman said: “I am delighted that the Secretary of State has opened our Energy Innovation Centre.
“Electric and hybrid vehicles are the future of automotive and WMG is at the forefront of this research.
“We have a long history of research impact in hybrid, electric and low carbon vehicles which he has been able to see first-hand.”