The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC), the national battery manufacturing scale-up facility, has appointed Sean Gilgunn as its new Managing Director.
Sean, who will take up the post at the Coventry-based £130m facility in October, joins UKBIC from Johnson Matthey where he has worked across various business areas, most recently as Global Procurement Director, Strategy & Operations.
Prior to this, Sean was based in Poland as General Manager and President of the Board of Directors for JM Battery Systems, a leading manufacturer of batteries across a wide range of applications. He has also spent a number of years leading global business units and key accounts focusing on critical markets including South Korea, China and South East Asia more broadly.
Sean was appointed by the UKBIC Board to lead the organisation, following the announcement in April that incumbent, Jeff Pratt, will be leaving at the end of his appointment in September 2023.
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.
Sean, the incoming Managing Director, said: “I am really pleased to have been appointed to the role of Managing Director for UKBIC. The opportunity to lead an organisation whose work is pivotal to the UK’s ambition to create a strong and sustainable battery manufacturing industry is truly unique. I am excited by the opportunity to drive forward UKBIC’s strategy in supporting the growing industrial opportunity for battery production at scale, and to work with our partners across the UK ecosystem to ensure we are providing the right environment for businesses to thrive.”
Richard Moon, Chairman of UKBIC’s Board and Director of Property Services & Development, Coventry City Council, commented: “I’m delighted that Sean has taken on the role of Managing Director at UKBIC. He brings an impressive background in strategic and operational leadership, which includes more than 20 years of international commercial and management experience in the B2B battery systems, automotive and chemical sectors. It’s this experience which will be vital in guiding the organisation forward in the years ahead.”
Tony Harper, the Faraday Battery Challenge’s Director, added: “This is a hugely exciting time for Sean to be joining UKBIC. With the global transition to zero emission vehicles well underway, and with the commitment from AESC and Tata Group to build battery manufacturing plants in the UK, we are seeing strong signs that the UK is on the right path to delivering a world class battery industry. I’m delighted that Sean will be leading UKBIC to enable manufacturing opportunities as part of our joined-up ecosystem.”
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About UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC)
The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) is the UK’s national manufacturing battery development facility, where businesses can develop their battery manufacturing processes at the scale they need to move to industrial production.
Opened in July 2021 by the then British Prime Minister, the £130 million Coventry-based facility provides the link between battery research and successful mass production.
Based in Coventry, the publicly-funded battery facility welcomes manufacturers, entrepreneurs, researchers and educators, and can be accessed by any organisation with existing or new battery technology – if that technology will bring green jobs and prosperity to the UK.
The pioneering facility is a key part of the UK Government funded Faraday Battery Challenge, which has been delivered by Innovate UK on behalf of UK Research and Innovation, with 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 £541 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.