UKBIC appoints Jonathan Smith to post of External Affairs Director

Battery Tech

The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC), the national battery manufacturing scale-up facility, has appointed Jonathan Smith to the post of External Affairs Director. Jonathan previously headed up the press teams for FTSE100 Severn Trent Water, E.ON UK and Alstom. During a career spanning more than 20 years, he has led or worked on a wide range of activities and initiatives, including public relations campaigns, internal communications, investor relations, mergers and acquisitions, joint venture communications, and events.

Highlights include leading internal and external communications around half and full year reporting to the City, creating programmes and campaigns to support the rollout of new trams and tramlines in Nottingham, leading the issues response during plans to build a new power station in Kent, and being part of a joint venture communications team which helped to build what was then, the world’s largest offshore wind farm (the London Array).

Jonathan will be responsible at UKBIC for government relations, stakeholder management, communications, public relations, social media, website, marketing and events, and will also work as part of UKBIC’s Executive Team.

Jonathan added: “I’m delighted to be joining UKBIC at a time when the battery industry in the UK is growing in importance. There’s a huge amount to be done and I’m really looking forward to finding out all about the facility, our customers, and the wider industry.”

Sean Gilgunn, UKBIC’s Managing Director, added: “I’m excited to be welcoming Jonathan to the post of External Affairs Director. Jonathan’s wealth of experience will be hugely important as UKBIC develops its capabilities in what is a fast growing battery sector.”

Coventry-based UKBIC is a key part of the Faraday Battery Challenge, a UK Government programme to fast track the development of cost-effective, high-performance, durable, safe, low-weight and recyclable batteries.

About UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC)

The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) is the UK’s national manufacturing battery development facility, providing battery manufacturing scale-up and skills for the battery sector.

The pioneering facility is a key part of the UK Government funded Faraday Battery Challenge, which delivered by Innovate UK on behalf of UK Research and Innovation, has the aim of building a high-tech, high-value, high-skill battery industry in the UK.

In addition to funding from the Faraday Battery Challenge through UK Research and Innovation, UKBIC’s completion was part-funded through the West Midlands Combined Authority.  The facility was delivered through a consortium of Coventry City Council, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and WMG, at the University of Warwick.  UKBIC was created in 2018 following a competition led by the Advanced Propulsion Centre with support from Innovate UK.

About the Faraday Battery Challenge

The Faraday Battery Challenge, delivered by Innovate UK, is a £610 million UKRI Challenge Fund investment, delivering a mission-led, research and innovation programme that covers “Lab to Factory” development, cutting-edge research, national scale-up infrastructure, and skills and training. The FBC seeks to address market failures in road transport decarbonisation and to attract investors to the UK’s battery industry. By leveraging scientific strength, with our delivery partners: Faraday Institution, UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) and Innovate UK, we are building an ecosystem that supports industry growth and ensures UK prosperity.

About UK Research and Innovation

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is the largest public funder of research and innovation in the UK, with a budget of around £8bn. It is composed of seven disciplinary research councils, Innovate UK and Research England.

We operate across the whole country and work with our many partners in higher education, research organisations businesses, government, and charities.

Our vision is for an outstanding research and innovation system in the UK that gives everyone the opportunity to contribute and to benefit, enriching lives locally, nationally and internationally.

Our mission is to convene, catalyse and invest in close collaboration with others to build a thriving, inclusive research and innovation system that connects discovery to prosperity and public good.