The Driving the Electric Revolution Industrialisation Centres were funded by UK Research and Innovation in 2020 as part of the Driving the Electric Revolution (DER) Challenge.

The focus of the challenge was to support the UK supply chain in securing the economic benefits from power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD) manufacturing. The investment supports the development of clean, resilient technology supply chains in these critical technologies which enable the net zero carbon economy.

About the DER Challenge

The Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge objective is to increase, by £5 billion, UK PEMD manufacturing by 2025. For more information, see here

Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge supports PEMD in multiple industries, including (but not limited to):

  • aerospace
  • automotive
  • energy (generation and distribution)
  • industrial (from production equipment to robots and lighting)
  • marine
  • off highway (construction, agriculture equipment)
  • rail

Areas of investment

Driving the Electric Revolution Industrialisation Centres

£33 million investment for four national centres of excellence in PEMD, based at existing areas of expertise in:

  • Newport, South-west England and Wales
  • Nottingham, Midlands
  • Strathclyde, Scotland
  • Sunderland, North-east England

These centres support research and development allowing businesses and researchers to develop and scale new PEMD technologies and manufacturing processes.

Collaborative Innovation Funding

Over £33 million is being invested in collaborative, industry-led innovation projects that will help businesses grow strategically important UK PEMD supply chains and develop manufacturing capability. These projects will enable UK to deliver the next generation of PEMD technologies across nine vital sectors undergoing accelerated electrification.

Talent and Skills Development

£6 million to support skills and training provision through:

  • dedicated skills competitions
  • an undergraduate award programme
  • the creation of a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) truck and a STEM box for schools
  • setting up the Electrification Revolution Skills Hub

The challenge has activities for everyone from school leavers and undergraduates, to experienced engineers and technicians looking to retrain to address the acute shortage of skills in PEMD.


To reach net zero carbon emissions, industries of all kinds must move to clean technologies and electrification. This is happening across every sector of society, from energy generation for our homes to how we move around. Electrification will generate a massive need for next-generation PEMD technologies, whether for:

  • electric vehicles
  • hybrid aircraft
  • trains
  • a host of other applications and appliances

PEMD are essential to create greener technologies, and PEMD supply chains are vital for keeping and attracting investment across sectors as they move towards a greener, electric future.

Reaching net zero by 2050 will not be possible without the supply of PEMD on a large scale. The Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge programme is helping the UK grasp the huge economic opportunities from this global transition.

Opportunities, Support and Resources

Funding Opportunities


Driving the Electric Revolution Industrialisation Centres

The Driving the Electric Revolution Industrialisation Centres (DER-IC) play a vital role in bringing together a UK-wide network of over 30 academic, research and technology organisations.

The network gives businesses the opportunity to:

  • develop manufacturing process technologies
  • industrialise the processes needed for PEMD scale-up
  • reduce risk by sharing expertise, technical advice and facilities

Read the ‘Driving the electric revolution industrial centres’ report (PDF, 3.4MB)

The Electric Revolution Skills Hub

Delivered by Coventry University on behalf of the Driving the Electric Revolution challenge.

The hub connects PEMD training and education providers with employers and learners to help grow the workforce needed to build future net zero technologies.

Find out more about the Electric Revolution Skills Hub

Magnets Report

The supply security of rare-earth permanent sintered magnets, and the rare-earth raw materials that these contain, is a strategic area for the UK.

Innovate UK KTN’s Chemistry & Industrial Biotechnology team, in conjunction with the challenge, reviewed the rare-earth materials and magnet supply chain opportunity for the UK.

Read the ‘UK supply chain opportunity in materials for permanent magnets’ report.

Annual Report

Driving the Electric Revolution: Annual Report