“We are on track but we can’t relax”
On 23 September partners and supporting organisations of the BATTERY 2030+ initiative met for a workshop at Virje University in Brussels. The aim was to discuss the draft of the roadmap that will be delivered to the European Commission in February 2020.
“We are on track but we can’t relax. We have to make sure that we include the smartest brains in Europe and that we have support from the battery community, both within the academia and industry, for a roadmap that outlines the way ahead for the large-scale research initiative on the batteries of the future”, says Kristina Edström, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Uppsala University and coordinator of the BATTERY 2030+ initiative.
During the workshop the current status of the roadmap was discussed, as well as new ideas for future research projects. The five research areas that are outlined in the current roadmap draft (Materials Acceleration Platform, Battery Interface/Interphase Genome, Smart Battery Functionalities, Manufacturability and Recyclability) are identified in order to address the main challenges ahead in the European landscape of battery research.
“The first big challenge is to accelerate the pace at which we develop the batteries. Today we are following traditional approaches of trial and error, and it takes too long”, says Simon Perraud, Deputy Coordinator of the BATTERY 2030+ initiative and Deputy Director at CEA Liten (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives).
Therefore, the materials acceleration platform and the battery interface genome, suggest new concepts that will accelerate the pace of discovery. It will be a multidisciplinary effort that requires a lot of collaboration with scientists developing materials synthesis, battery manufacturing, modelling, characterization, digital technology and artificial intelligence. A second challenge is the durability, safety and reliability of the batteries.
“This new approach will take time to develop. In the roadmap it is addressed in the research area of smart battery functionalities with the sensing and self-healing, but also with the materials acceleration platform”, says Simon Perraud.
The third big challenge facing the battery research field is the sustainability of the battery value chain.
“We need to reduce the carbon footprint of the battery manufacturing and recycling process. This can be done by several technologies and innovations, and is addressed in the research areas of manufacturability and recyclability in the roadmap”, he says.
Input is essential
Since the launch of the BATTERY 2030+ initiative in March 2019, the core partners have participated in a large number of meetings and workshops.
“Input from stakeholders, both within the industry and academia, as well as from policy makers, is essential. We need to make sure that we are on the right track and have support in order to be able to achieve our goals – to act as a cornerstone in the construction of a long-term research initiative on batteries that will supply the European battery eco-system with completely new disruptive technologies.”, says Kristina Edström.
Save the date
The next workshop will be held in Brussels on 20 November. It will be the occasion for all stakeholders that have endorsed BATTERY 2030+ to take part in the shaping of the roadmap.
“We look forward to receiving input, especially about new research areas. In the current draft we have defined the five research fields, but it will be vital for the progress to obtain new ideas about other broad areas, knowing that we want to keep a chemistry neutral approach”, says Simon Perraud.