The Innovation Platform Issue 10

    The tenth edition of The Innovation Platform covers innovation in the fields of science and technology, ranging from green energy and meeting sustainability goals, to battery research and development and accelerator physics.

    Hello and welcome to the tenth edition of The Innovation Platform. We are already halfway through the year in a blink of an eye. Whilst the noise of the COVID-19 pandemic has somewhat quietened, 2022 is not without its challenges. With the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and energy prices continuing to soar as a result, the cost of living is reaching astronomical levels. Amongst the ongoing fuel shortages and price rises, the need for alternative solutions and a collaborative approach to reach green energy goals has never been more apparent.

    Reflecting the urgency for a joined-up strategy to improve supply chains, Phillipe Jacques, Secretary General of the Batteries European Partnership Association (BEPA), shares his thoughts in this edition’s Foreword. He explains why it is more important than ever for Europe to streamline the research and innovation landscape to offer a more competitive battery sector.

    Battery research and development

    Following on from this, we have an extensive focus on battery research and development with comments from a wide range of industry experts. It begins with a discussion from EIT InnoEnergy’s Frank Gielen on the role of the EBA Academy in developing Europe’s battery value chain. Further along in this focus, we look at battery recycling as a solution to meet the rapid demand for lithium-ion batteries. Here, Bryant Polzin, Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s ReCell Center, emphasises the importance of advancing battery recycling innovation.

    A key component within the battery supply chain is the availability of rare earth metals. Examining the rare earth supply chains within Europe and elsewhere, we have insight from the Global Rare Earth Industry Association. You will also find a key focus on global lithium supply chains within this edition, examining lithium resources and exploration, including in North America, South America, and Portugal. Of course, the demand for battery innovation is fuelled by the rapid transition to electric vehicles. So, within the battery research and development section, we also shine a light on e-mobility solutions, with comments from the European Commission’s Department of Mobility and Transport, the Hydrogen Council, and many more.

    Environment and sustainability

    Following on from our comprehensive battery focus, our environment and sustainability section outlines current societal challenges such as renewable energy. Discussing the current conflict in Ukraine and its impact on supply chains, WindEurope’s Viktoriya Kerelska explores the progress made so far in Europe’s green energy policies and the improvements required to meet sustainability goals. This section concludes with a focus on Earth observation, which includes commentary from Christopher Oligschläger from the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies.

    Research and innovation

    Throughout the publication, energy remains a highly prevalent topic, including within our research and innovation section. For our physics focus, for example, I speak to former CERN Director for Accelerators and Technology, Dr Frédérick Bordry, about his long career working in accelerator physics and energy conversion. Outlining the importance of energy conversion throughout his career progression, Dr Bordry stresses that nuclear fission is more critical than ever in today’s world. In addition, Tony Donné, Programme Manager of EUROfusion, explores the progress made and the future objectives for nuclear fusion research in Europe.

    These are just some of the many thought-provoking topics featured in this edition. I hope you enjoy the read.

    Georgie Whitworth
    The Innovation Platform