Strengthening Europe’s battery research and innovation ecosystem

Batteries Europe launches its second mandate in a bid to transform the battery research and innovation ecosystem in Europe.

This week, on 21 June 2022, the first general assembly of the European Technology and Innovation Platform ‘Batteries Europe’ took place in Brussels. The event was attended by more than 160 stakeholders, with approximately 70 in-person attendees and another 90 joining online. This assembly represents a significant move towards reinforcing Europe’s battery research and innovation ecosystem.

Towards sustainable and independent European battery technology

In the assembly’s keynote speech, Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission highlighted the need to “reduce our dependence on imports of critical raw materials” and the need to “focus on developing locally produced batteries using non-critical raw materials.”

In line with this goal, the objective of Batteries Europe is to be the single-entry point to all battery-related research projects to pursue excellence and decrease time to market of the battery technologies that could lead to a greener and more sustainable Europe.

Succeeding a successful first mandate, the second mandate has been initiated. The assembly saw experts in the field work together to deliberate on topics, including:

  • Outlining the strategy, priorities and impacts for the next three years;
  • Interacting with other international batteries research and innovation strategies; and
  • Combining workforces within the European battery research and innovation ecosystem.

Discussion at the general assembly

The general assembly launched with an overview of Batteries Europe and its aim of ensuring a more productive engagement with stakeholders and collaboration with other EU battery initiatives.

Michael Lippert (SAFT), Ilka von Dalwigk (EBA250), Robert Scipioni (SINTEF), Alessandro Romanello (InnoEnergy) and Ivan Matejak (EERA) emphasised the main objectives of Batteries Europe and the anticipated favourable impacts for the European battery community.

A first international panel moderated by Monika Curto Fuentes and Stefan Wolf (VDI-VDE-IT) featured panellists from across the industry. This included: Johan Blondelle (DG RTD, European Commission), Ilka von Dalwigk (EBA250), Kazuyuki Imazato (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation Japan), Mathy Stanislaus (Drexel University) and Noël M. Bakhtian (Berkeley Lab Energy Storage Centre). This panel discussed the Japanese, American, and European potential for cooperative prospects within the competitive context of the international batteries research and innovation strategies.

The second panel centred on delivering the ‘safe and sustainable by design’ concept. It comprised both a scientific and industry standpoint in a debate that was moderated by Roberto Scipioni (SINTEF) and Eliana Quartarone (University of Pavia). The panel included: Emma Kendrick (University of Birmingham), Marcello Colledani (POLIMI), Jan Tygat (Umicore), Øydis Gadeholt (Norsk Hydro), and Daria Arbuzova (ElevenES).

The experts considered the significance of reverse logistic, the treatment of dangerous substances, as well as the profound necessity to finance recycling facilities. In the coming years, massive quantities of batteries are due to be on the market, thus augmenting the impact of safety and recycling processes.

Batteries Europe intends to accelerate and facilitate the development of a globally competitive European battery industry and improve the synergies and complementarities among EU initiatives. This will be achieved through different levels of engagement at European, national and international levels.

Batteries Europe is coordinated by the Batteries Europe Secretariat (BEST) project and led by InnoEnergy with the participation of VDI-VDE-IT, EASE, EERA, CLERENS, SINTEF (Industry and Energy), INSTM, CIC energiGUNE, ENEA and Zabala. The project would last three years under the Horizon 2020 Programme for research and innovation.

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