Projects to Reduce the Cost and Improve the Performance of Batteries for Use in Developing Countries


Deadline: 11 May 2020


The Faraday Institution is the UK’s independent institute for electrochemical energy storage science and technology, supporting research, training, and analysis. We bring together scientists, industry partners, and government funding with a common goal. We invest in collaborative research to reduce battery cost, weight, and volume; to improve performance and reliability; to develop scalable designs; to improve our manufacturing; to develop whole-life strategies from mining to recycling to second use; and to accelerate commercialisation.

Bringing together expertise from universities and industry, and as part of the Faraday Battery Challenge, the Faraday Institution endeavours to make the UK the go-to place for the research, development, manufacture and production of new electrical storage technologies for both the  automotive and the wider relevant sectors.

With respect to this call, the Faraday Institution has received funding from UK aid to research new battery technologies and conduct relevant techno-economic and related studies that have the potential to increase the uptake of cheap, clean and reliable energy in Overseas Development Assistance (ODA)-eligible countries. The UK aid support is provided as part of the Transforming Energy Access programme, which supports early stage testing and scale up of innovative technologies and business models that will accelerate access to affordable, clean energy based services to poor households and enterprises, especially in Africa


Project proposals are invited that seek to positively contribute to the ultimate objective or outcome of this research programme which is to specify battery chemistry, performance, materials, manufacturing processes and whole-life cost reductions that contribute to batteries being competitive, compared to existing solutions, and will encourage and accelerate their up-take and roll-out in developing and emerging countries to enable cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy.

Project proposals should describe the research that is intended to be performed via this call and include a list and brief description of the intended outputs of that research. Proposals should also describe how those outputs link to or support the ultimate objectives and outcomes of this research programme, whether now or in the future. Project proposals should also list and briefly describe each of the activities that they intend to perform to deliver their research and also show how the intended outputs link to those activities or combination of those activities. Project proposal should also briefly describe the inputs that will be required for each of the proposed activities. e.g. staff time, laboratory time, equipment and physical materials, data, existing knowledge and analysis.
Inputs  Activities  Outputs  Outcomes

Where possible project proposals should also identify additional elements that will be required such

  1.  Technical review of relevant market and academic literature
  2.  Collaborators and partners to help shape, and/or deliver, the research

A key output of the research will be to identify the differential cost and/or performance improvements that this research will help to deliver in terms of its ability to contribute to encouraging and accelerating its up take in developing countries and emerging economies.

Examples of the type of projects that will be considered include but are not limited to research tha will:

  •  reduce the costs of materials
  •  increase efficiency, power output, energy density
  •  improve cycle life and rate capability
  •  improve manufacturing processes
  1.  Benchmark the performance of new materials against existing technologies
  2.  Demonstrate potential scale-up and cost savings


Research groups should have appropriate experience of similar or related battery and/or materials science research and development.
The assessment criteria will be:


  • Exploitation potential and potential for transformational impact of the research programme in emerging markets (30%)
  •  Experience of working in emerging markets, or technologies for emerging markets (20%)
  •  Alignment to scoping study requirements (20%)
  •  Track record of research team (15%)
  •  Value for money / price (15%)

Each criterion will be scored through a paper sift. The assessors may invite one or more bidders for a clarification interview prior to making a final decision. The proposals will be re-scored after the interview. Scoring below a set hurdle rate in any criterion will eliminate the proposal. Faraday Institution may take a portfolio approach to selection of the proposals. Where more than one proposal is in the same or substantially similar area of research, the highest scoring one will be selected and the other may be rejected in favour of a lower scoring proposal in order to increase the breadth of the programme.
This call is open to all research organisations, who must also lead the project. Grants will be issued subject to the Faraday Institution’s standard terms and conditions.

The successful proposals will be invited to agree final contract terms and start work summer/autumn 2020.