Muriel Cozier | 3 August 2020

Your weekly digest of policy news, funding competitions, and calls for evidence.

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European Investment Bank supports sustainable battery production

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a $350 million loan agreement to support the financing of Europe’s first gigafactory for lithium-ion battery cells. The factory, located in Skellefteå, Sweden, is being developed by Northvolt Ett. The Financing is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments.

Northvolt Ett will serve as Northvolt’s primary production site, hosting active material preparation, cell assembly and recycling. Ramping up to full capacity, Northvolt Ett will produce 16 GWh of battery capacity each year in its initial phase. The intention is to scale-up output at a later stage; to potentially 40 GWh. Northvolt’s batteries are designed to be used in automotive, grid storage and industrial and portable applications.

Northvolt was established to enable the European transition to a decarbonised future. The company’s industrial partners and customers include ABB, BMW Group and Siemens.

Peter Carlsson, co-founder and CEO of Northvolt said ‘The EIB has played a key role in making this project possible from the very beginning. We are tremendously grateful for the support we have received from them and the European Union. Europe needs to build its own supply chain for large-scale battery manufacturing and the EIB is a true cornerstone of that process.’

Lithium-ion battery

Economic recovery

The UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has announced that £350 million will be made available to cut emissions in heavy industry and drive economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic.

The investment will build on the Prime Minister’s drive to make progress on the UK’s target to reach net-zero by 2050 and  support businesses in heavy industry, construction, space and transport sectors as they decarbonise, as well as securing the UK’s place ‘at the forefront of green innovation.’

The £350 million package includes £139 million to cut emissions from heavy industry by supporting the transition from natural gas to clean hydrogen power and scaling up carbon capture and storage technology. A further £149 million is available to drive the use of innovative materials in heavy industry; this will cover 13 initial projects which includes proposals to reuse waste ash in the glass and ceramics industry and the development of recyclable steel.

The announcement was made just ahead of the first meeting of the Jet Zero Council, which is bringing together government, representatives from the environmental sector and the aviation and aerospace industry to tackle aviation emissions in line with the government’s ambition to achieve the first ever zero emissions long haul passenger plane.

Read more - Investment will drive green innovation

Aeroplane flying over trees


Funding competitions

Sustainable Innovation Fund

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £26 million to fund single and collaborative research and development projects as part of The Sustainable Innovation Fund.

Deadline 2 September 2020


Industrial energy efficiency and decarbonisation

Organisations can apply to the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund for a share of up to £30 million for grants to carry out feasibility and engineering studies into energy efficiency and decarbonisation.

Deadline 28 October 2020


Calls for evidence


The European Chemical Agency has launched a public consultation on the restriction of micro-plastics intentionally added to products.

Deadline 11 September 2020


Net-zero agriculture

A survey has been launched by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to understand how engineering and physical science research can support the attainment of net-zero agriculture for the UK.

Deadline 4 September 2020


COVID-19 rapid response call

Science Foundation Ireland supports research in a number of thematic areas on advancing the knowledge of Covid-19 and its impact on health and developing solutions that contribute to economic and societal recovery.

Deadline 26 August 2020


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