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Challenge Fund: Driving the Electric Revolution

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In March 2021 a new funding competition, ‘Driving the Electric Revolution: Supply Chains for Net Zero’, was initiated by Innovate UK, on behalf of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The aim of the fund is to address and scale up the UK’s power-electronics supply chain, which is in need of rapid development to meet the UK Government’s pledge of an all-electric future by the year 2030. UKRI are offering a share of £22 million to invest into green innovation projects in transport, energy and industrial sectors.

The Driving the Electric Revolution challenge at UKRI has already awarded £4.8 million to Swansea University for their silicon-carbide semi-conductor research, which you can read about here.

To gain more insights into this challenge fund, Business News Wales spoke with Will Drury, the Challenge Director at UKRI. Prof Drury said:

“[Our report] does show that the money is being well distributed across the UK, with 18% of it going into Wales. Compound with the fact that we have got 61% of our money going into micro, small and medium enterprises, [it] really shows that this is there to grow this sector, build on what is already there. This is not nascent, we’re not starting from a blank sheet of paper, we are investing in the growth of [these] exciting technologies.”

He continued:

“It’s about creating an eco-system; it’s about creating a network of people [and] companies that have a similar or common goal through that supply chain [and] that start talking to each other.”

You can listen to Will Drury speak in full detail about the ‘Driving the Electric Revolution’ challenge fund and their annual report in our audio interview below: