The European Commission has approved a total of 3.2 billion euros in state aid for pan-European research and innovation projects by seven member states along the entire battery value chain. German battery manufacturers and carmakers will also benefit from the funding.
The project is considered an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) and is intended to promote research and innovation in the area of batteries. Belgium, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Poland and Sweden are all participating, with the aim of improving the durability of lithium-ion batteries by supporting the development of innovative and sustainable technologies. Now that Brussels has given the green light, these countries may begin subsidizing research projects. In Germany, the amount that can be made available in the form of state subsidies is capped at 1.25 billion euros.
Research and development activities should facilitate innovations that advance the state of the art along the entire battery value chain – from the extraction and processing of raw materials and the production of cutting-edge chemical substances to the design of battery cells and modules and their integration into intelligent systems to the recycling and repurposing of used batteries. In Germany, BMW, BASF, Opel, Umicore and VARTA are set to receive funding to develop innovative battery modules that can be used in the automotive industry as well as in power tools. A second group of companies submitted their application for pre-notification to the European Commission in late November 2019. This group includes nine German companies as well as companies and research institutions from ten additional EU member states.
The goal is to ensure a state-of-the-art value chain in Germany and in Europe while also maintaining the highest standards for sustainability and CO2 intensity in production.