Britishvolt’s Isobel Sheldon joins UK’s Critical Minerals Expert Committee

Britishvolt’s chief strategy officer, Isobel Sheldon OBE, has been selected to be a member of the UK’s Critical Minerals Expert Committee – aiming to establish a secure supply of critical materials essential for the transition to a low carbon society.

Sheldon will join the Committee together with a select number of industry and academic experts, including Cornish Lithium CEO, Jeremy Wrathall.

The formation of the Committee is a key element of the UK Government’s Net Zero Strategy and has been established by Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The Committee is the first of its kind in the UK, and will provide independent advice to government on the scope and content of a critical minerals strategy. The Committee will also define and publish an updated list of these minerals to guide government investment decisions.

The resulting UK Critical Minerals Strategy will be published in 2022, setting out the UK’s approach to securing the technology critical minerals and metals aimed at:

  • ensuring the UK has a reliable supply of critical minerals and metals
  • establishing an enabling environment for growing the sector in the UK
  • showing leadership through working bilaterally and multilaterally to support work on international standards to extend and strengthen the circular economy in technology-critical minerals
  • ensuring work to build critical mineral supply chain resilience supports the UK’s international development priorities
  • using the UK’s R&D resources to build a better understanding of markets and prices to help mitigate the impact of supply shocks and demand spikes, and to enable better foresight and early intervention; and
  • work with UK industry (including SMEs) to consider how the private and public sectors can better share risks to promote investment and drive innovation at all levels.

Sheldon is a seasoned battery industry professional. Having amassed nearly 20 years of lithium-ion battery industry experience, she joins the company from the Government-backed UKBIC where she served as Director of Business Development.

Prior to this, she held senior leadership positions within global companies, recently serving as Engineering and Technology Director at Johnson Matthey Battery Systems.

As one of the first pioneers to integrate lithium-ion batteries in road vehicles, she has developed a wealth of knowledge – from cell technology, cell manufacturing chemistries and system integration, to how the global industry and supply chains works.

Through this strategy, the UK government will seek to support the engagement of the UK’s mining sector in new and existing markets, facilitating investment and collaboration in extraction and processing opportunities.

Britishvolt is on target to responsibly manufacture some of the world’s most sustainable, low carbon battery cells on the site of the former Blyth Power Station coal stocking yard located in Cambois, Northumberland.

Isobel Sheldon OBE, Chief Strategy Officer, Britishvolt, said: “This is an excellent initiative, another sign of the Government’s vision to put the UK on the global battery map, that will truly help the country on its glidepath to a net zero future. I am delighted and honoured to have been selected to be a member.

“Britishvolt is one of the world’s leading companies developing and manufacturing battery technology as part of the global effort to deliver a better future for all of us.

“A sustainable future, one where we are weaned off of fossil fuels and switch to renewable energy. There can be no successful energy transition without sustainable, responsibly manufactured, low-carbon batteries. These batteries are reliant on some of the critical minerals that will be discussed on the Committee.”

Image: Shutterstock

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