Neil Morris comments on the infrastructure report, led by the University of Liverpool, as we distribute it to our community.
The Faraday Institution recently commissioned a study, led by Nigel Browning of the University of Liverpool, to report on the infrastructure currently available to researchers in electrochemical energy storage in the UK. Do take a look at their report “Identifying Infrastructure and Collaborative Expertise for Electrochemical Energy Storage Applications,” which may include information of relevance to your group.
Our thanks to those people who contributed to the study by attending the workshop or completing the questionnaire.
The report identifies a significant opportunity. The authors conclude: “A major advancement in the UK’s ability to innovate new electrochemical energy storage technologies would be achieved by introducing support mechanisms that both provide access to the best instrumentation and provide training in its use by experts in the characterisation of electrochemical energy storage systems.”
As a result of this study (and following feedback received at the recent 8-month review) the Faraday Institution will be collaborating with the report’s authors, and key individuals in major user facilities such as Diamond and ISIS, and elsewhere, to work up detailed action plans in the following areas:
- Improve awareness of and access to materials characterisation equipment in the UK relevant to electrochemical energy storage research.
- Introduce guidelines and standard test protocols to ensure consistency in analytical methods.
- Develop high-quality training programmes to build analytical capability to meet the needs of the battery research community.
- Issue a call for characterisation science development that puts the UK at the leading edge of battery analytical research.
These capability-building and skills-building initiatives are central to the core mission of the Faraday Institution. As the report outlines, “There is an opportunity to achieve a level of senior undergraduate/graduate/technical training that is unique within the worldwide EES community.”
To this end, the Faraday Institution is in the process of recruiting a Project Leader whose focus would be to drive forward the recommendations of the report. Their first task would be to develop a project plan, in collaboration with a steering group, drawing on the expertise of major user facilities (and other key representatives of the community). We look forward to engaging with many of you further on this subject as we work through this process.