Federal Minister Peter Altmaier

Federal Minister Peter Altmaier

© BMWi/Andreas Mertens

Speaking at today’s fifth high-level meeting of the European Battery Alliance, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier highlighted the importance of this initiative for Europe’s ability to compete in the future.

Said Federal Minister Peter Altmaier: “We want the most innovative and environmentally-compatible batteries to be produced in Germany and the EU, and to be among the best internationally. The government is taking care of the right framework for this, and the market with its competitive and innovative nature is creating good solutions. This is what the EU Battery Alliance is about. Along with two large-scale European projects on battery cell production, the Battery Alliance is a beacon of our joint European industrial policy and a blueprint for other forward-looking sectors such as hydrogen, microelectronics and cloud computing. We must continue to venture down this path towards making our European industrial sector fit for the future.”

In line with this, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is further expanding its funding for research into battery cells. A new funding initiative has been created to support research and development work in the field of sustainable batteries. This new line of funding comes on top of the two existing Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEIs) designed to foster the production of innovative batteries. It will consider the batteries’ entire lifecycle, seeking to make them as sustainable as possible. Those interested in applying for research funding for projects in the field of sustainable battery production and recycling, digitisation of battery production, battery tests and certification, or use-cases for new battery technologies can submit their project abstracts starting today and by 21 April 2021 at the latest.

Said Federal Minister Peter Altmaier: “In setting up the IPCEIs, we have successfully built the industrial core of a battery value chain in Germany and Europe. Now is the time to enlarge this ecosystem around batteries and bring many more companies and research institutions into the value chain. Our new line of funding wants to promote sustainability and digitisation in battery cell production. For this purpose, we are providing up to €180 million in funding. We want the best and the most environmentally-friendly batteries to be made in Germany and Europe.”

As part of two Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEIs), the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is already supporting 15 companies in Germany in their work to build a complete value chain for batteries in Europe, from the processing of raw materials to the actual production, and recycling. Around 45 companies from eleven other EU Member States are also involved.
The projects receiving funding under the new initiative will be selected for their ability to further strengthen the growing battery industry in Germany. The goal is to manufacture batteries “made in Germany” to the highest standards of quality and sustainability. Research and innovation projects are to help achieve this.

The call for proposals on “research in the priority line of funding for battery cell production” comes as part of the Federal Government’s 7th Energy Research Programme and will be published today in the Federal Gazette. A few weeks from now, it is to be followed by another line of funding to support upskilling and structural change in the context of battery cell production.