As a scientist or a researcher have you ever been faced with a barrier to communicate your results to a non-academic audience?

The Batteries European Partnership Association is organising a free webinar alongside the Institute for Innovation and Technology (iit) on storytelling for scientists and researchers to help them improve their pitching skills and learn how to appeal to investors and industry representatives!

During this three hour workshop, you will learn all about creating a business case out of your innovative idea and product, in order to best cater to the needs of industry and increase the chances of your idea being integrated in existing production  lines of established companies.

Join us on 21 June 2024, between 10:00 and 13:00 CET for the next webinar, part of the Innovation Uptake Event Series organized by the Batteries European Partnership Association

Introduction and Presentation

Wouter IJzermans, BEPA Executive Director talked about the scope of BEPA, he underlined how the Partnership is not funding the raw materials extraction but it covers all the other aspects of the value chain from the processing of battery grade materials to the production of advanced materials. “Through recycling we are trying to close the loop by bringing the materials that are in the batteries back into the value chain.”

BEPA Policy Officer Bozorg Khanbaei explained the strategic actions for raw materials and recycling as stated in the newest Strategic Research Innovation Agenda (SRIA). Among the main strategic actions, we should underline processing and refining of battery grade raw materials for lithium batteries for the mobility sector. “We need new solutions and technologies that help with the carbon footprint, we need diversification of material to securing the supply chain. Also, we need to make sure that projects find their way to the industry and for instance equip the sodium battery value chain or utilise bio-based raw materials for battery electrode materials.”

In the future the supply should come from recycled materials, to achieve the targets set by the EU battery regulation, we need new technologies, solutions and a set of different thinking to materialise this numbers and that’s exactly what Horizon Europe is going to tackle.

One of the primary topics for the recycling is improvement of adoptability and flexibility of existing recycling processes, we should also make sure that giga-factories reutilise materials.

Panel Discussion

Marja Vilkman, Principal Scientist at VTT in Finland and the research chair for raw materials discussed the procedure of coming up with the strategic topics for the SRIA together with the BEPA working group. When it comes to raw materials she mentioned the importance of scaling up the raw material production and the bio based carbon materials. Regarding the recycling flexibility Marja confirmed its importance as we have several chemistries which might even require special processes for recycling.

Andreas Bratland, Special Advisor , Research Council of Norway talked from the perspective of batteries and electrification responsible he is responsible of providing funding to private companies and research organisations to develop more sustainable and cost efficient batteries. One of the most successful projects we had resulted in the opening of a recycling facility producing black mass and aluminium.

When it comes to raw materials, Norway has resources of nickel and cobalt but we have been importing materials in the last years. We are aware of the scarcity of lithium, therefore an important task is to move to more sustainable chemistries.

Jaakko Soini, Senior Manager Strategy Business Development, in Fortum discussed the economic viability of battery recycling, and explained how Finland’s tradition in mining and recycling has created a stimulating environment for businesses, including investment opportunities, skilled workforce and opportunities for collaboration.  Finally, he argued that innovation in recycling should be slowly integrated in the production line, and investments must be made along the way, in different parts of the value chain.

Fernando Machado, General Manager of Battery Cluster Portugal, explained how the country has utilized the guidelines established by the SRIA, and adapted them in its national context, aiming to accelerate commercialisation of energy storage and to create partnerships between academia and industry. Even though, Portuguese lithium is expected to be available in the markets by 2026, cooperation in the European level is still needed to help fast-track procedures and accelerate the deployment of new technologies in the raw materials and recycling sector.

Q&A

The Q&A session focused on the challenges occurring in recycling different new chemistries like LFP, the acceptance these projects by local communities and examined whether recycled metals are enough to support our increasing needs.

How do you look at the integration of new chemistries into the recycling ecosystem?

The development of new chemistries is inherently a good thing for the industry, showing its continuing progress. Before making the decision to invest in a recycling facility for these chemistries, we need to heavily monitor and analyse the newest developments in the market. The recycling process is always taking place some time after use, so there are ways to predict how widely some materials will be used in the future, and gives the industry time to adapt to these changes. Some chemistries might even be easier to recycle, like sodium-ion while others will probably pose issues to recycling facilities like solid-state batteries. These challenges include both the cost factor, as well as safety reasons or drastic but necessary modifications in the production line for these chemistries. It is important that recycling is a parameter we think about about already in the developing process of a new battery technology, to make sure it complies with current regulations.

How important is the social acceptability of recycling and raw materials projects?

Acceptance by the local communities can only be gained through the appropriate information of citizen groups on the project and its consequences. Explaining the environmental and economic impact of not building such projects but also pointing out the employment opportunities that might arise is also a way to help local communities agree to the projects.  We need to visualise things to see what is the cost of investing and of not investing and what is the environmental impact of creating these extraction projects or not creating them. We need to show citizens the added value in the long run, to get the local communities on board.

There is indeed negative impact inflicted upon local communities which should be dealt with by supporting the local population to reduce the negative consequences. In Portugal, according to Fernando Machado, investing in infrastructure in the area, like new roads, education or other facilities is one way to improve the quality of life of the citizens, compensating them for the negative impact they endure.

Do you think the industry will be ready for the raw materials and recycling targets in the CRMA and the Battery Regulation?

The targets of the Battery regulation for recycling go above the average predicted by the International Energy Agency, showing once again the high sustainability standards of the European sector. As far as the readiness of businesses to achieve these targets, in the SRIA, we want to try to help industry reach its goals by directing investment to the recycling projects that can help maximize the impact of the investments. Industry should be flexible and adaptable, however it is true that new chemistries require drastic change in current recycling facilities but also streamlining collection and reverse logistics.

Are we there to tackle the cost efficiency of LFP batteries. When we are talking about the assets, we are running we are looking at other chemistries than LFP.

According to Jaakko Soini, LFP is one of the chemistries where efforts are made to define how recycling would work in the future, but usually when talking about the current project they are running, it is mainly NCM or NCA chemistries rather than LFP.

When do you think we will have big quantities of recycled batteries available in Norway?

Andreas Bratland argued that it will take time until they reach large volumes, production of batteries from recycled materials are still at a low level. When thinking of the  building electric cars they will be building for the coming decade, the majority of minerals used will be primary materials and not come from recycled batteries, at least for the near future.

 

Conclusion

The concluding remarks were presented by Johan Blondelle, Policy Office at Directorate General for Research and Innovation, and Wouter IJzermans, Executive Director of BEPA. Mr Blondelle stressed out the urgent need for further coordination of Horizon Europe with national funding programmes and other funding programmes inside the Commission.

The new Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda has the potential to become a common technological road map, and act as a compass for battery innovation in Europe, bringing stakeholders of the European battery community together.

 

The European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE) is organizing the Energy Storage Global Conference in Brussels Belgium, on 15-17 October 2024. At #ESGC2024, attendees will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a comprehensive program designed to provide invaluable insights, networking opportunities, and in-depth discussions led by industry experts.

The event is spanning over three days corresponding to one particular sector of energy storage policy.

  1. Policy Day (15 October 2024): Explore topics such as Electricity Market Design, grids, flexibility assessment, and support schemes.
  2. Market Day (16 October 2024): Discuss global best practices in project financing, business models, and optimizing storage assets.
  3. Technology Day (17 October 2024): Dive into discussions on European manufacturing competitiveness, fire and safety standards, and energy storage hybridization.

During this three day event, participants will have the chance to gain new insights into energy storage policies, markets, and cutting-edge technologies, explore products and engage with sponsors and exhibitors, as well as interact with more than 400 delegates from all over the world.

The second edition of Li-ion Battery Europe 2024 is taking place on 8-10 October 2024, in the EGG, in Brussels, Belgium. This conference acts as a global platform uniting the full Li-ion Battery value chain, gathering more than 1000 professionals in the field. With leading Scientists, Investors, Project Developers, Financiers, Technology suppliers and other stakeholders attending, they will be discussing the latest advancements, sharing insights, and exchanging ideas on how to improve the performance, reliability, and safety of Li-ion batteries.

Don’t miss this landmark event, taking place in the heart of Europe, and uniting professionals from all over the world.

A Horizon Europe effort to boost EU battery production is rebooting itself with a new technology strategy and new funding calls in 2025. But it acknowledges the tough challenge Europe still faces from mounting battery competition in China and the US.

The €925 million project, called BATT4EU, is a public-private partnership for battery research and innovation launched in 2021. As climate worries and electric vehicle demand have risen, the project is among several EU initiatives to try boosting local battery supplies – but those efforts were dinged last year by the European Court of Auditors for inadequate coordination.

The response was the publication in February of a new Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) by BATT4EU. It lays out nine key areas that Europe needs to address to develop a competitive and sustainable battery industry. It plans an “information observatory” to assess progress of the various EU initiatives and the market. And it envisions publishing funding calls in spring 2025, before updating its agenda for intended 2026-2027 calls.

The report drew some good initial reviews from the auditors. “I think the new SRIA correctly interprets the court’s concerns,” Afonso De Castro Malheiro, head of task for the ECA report, told Science|Business. The information observatory, and a planned strategic roadmap to identify research priorities, are “relevant suggestions” in this context, he said, but it will all come down to implementation.

“It is important that this is implemented in an effective way, that the information flows in both directions, and in particular, that the national or regional managing authorities become more aware of what is happening at European level,” he said.

The ECA noted in its report an improvement in the coordination of Horizon Europe funding with the launch of BATT4EU and its first SRIA in 2021. However, the auditors found that calls for the European Regional Development Fund were not aligned with this strategy.

Coordination is one of the nine key areas identified in the SRIA. Others cover specific parts of the battery value chain, including materials, design and manufacturing. BATT4EU has already begun sharing the document with other EU funding mechanisms and with member states, to solicit feedback and align activities across the continent. The Commission has also taken steps to make the deployment of public funds more efficient, inviting EIT InnoEnergy to launch a one-stop-shop for start-ups and SMEs across the battery value chain looking for EU public funding.

Tough competition

Meeting Europe’s green and digital ambitions will depend on its ability to design and mass-produce cutting-edge batteries, with global battery demand expected to increase 14 times over by 2030. But the European battery sector is facing several major hurdles, including a dearth of skills, slow permitting, higher energy costs than other parts of the world, and a significant dependence on China and other regions for critical raw materials like lithium and cobalt. At the same time, the 2022 US Inflation Reduction Act is now funnelling new money into the American battery industry – with the possible result that battery prices in the US could end up being 40% lower than in Europe, according to the SRIA.

This week the European Court of Auditors released an overview of four recent studies on road transport, including a special report on batteries, and concluded that the transition to electric vehicles risks relying on imports, “if EU capacity and competitiveness do not increase significantly”.

Less than 10% of global battery manufacturing is based in Europe, and most of this is done by non-European companies, whereas China accounts for 76% worldwide. European electric vehicles remain unaffordable, largely due to the batteries, “which can cost €15,000 on average in Europe”, the ECA points out.

The Commission has made good progress in promoting a European industrial policy on batteries, Malheiro of the ECA said. But it needs better information and to set clear targets. The 2018 strategic action plan on batteries, for example, sets the ambition of making Europe “an industrial leader”, but lacks quantifiable targets. “It is important in our view that the Commission renews that strategy on batteries, taking into account the constraints around raw materials and what we can produce in Europe on the basis of those constraints.”

Seismic shifts

The BATT4EU partnership was launched in 2021 to mobilise €925 million in funding. But the sector has undergone seismic shifts since then, meaning an updated strategy was necessary to better steer investments.

For instance, new priorities are needed to take into account technological developments in areas such as sodium-ion batteries.

“Some of the materials that were considered cheaper and less powerful have had breakthroughs and seem to be able to play a role in more high-end markets as well,” BATT4EU executive director Wouter IJzermans told Science|Business.

Europe’s manufacturing capacity is also evolving. For instance, Swedish battery maker Northvolt recently opened the continent’s first “gigafactory”. According to the SRIA, eight other battery plants are now operating around Europe, with 21 more planned by 2030.

“When we started (BATT4EU) in 2021, they were mostly just PowerPoint decks. Now they’re actual factories being built; so we needed to realign,” said IJzermans. Ensuring research results reach gigafactories and the market is one of six imperatives identified in the SRIA.

Affordability is another priority, to enable the mass deployment of electric vehicles. This means “cheaper materials, but also materials that last longer so you have a better second-hand EV market,” IJzermans said.

Other priorities include ensuring manufacturing and recycling systems are flexible enough to respond to evolving technology. The new strategic plan focuses on reducing reliance on foreign, critical raw materials by developing alternatives, including biobased materials, and by increasing circularity. In the shorter term, the aim is to boost European raw material processing capacity.

“It will be a while, I think, before we get competitive batteries that have a reduced CRM footprint,” said IJzermans. “Even if we don’t have the raw materials, at least the processing we can do in Europe.”

Funding calls to come

The SRIA will now be implemented through annual calls, starting with the work programme for 2025, with the first calls expected to be published in spring 2025. There will be another, smaller update to the strategic agenda next year which will form the basis of the 2026 and 2027 work programmes.

How many of the priorities can be implemented in 2025 will depend on the annual budget, which is yet to be agreed. BATT4EU will also continue to look at the possibility of joint calls to leverage the budget even further, as it has done with the 2Zero road transport partnership in the past.

It is also talking to partnerships of end users, such as the Clean Aviation joint undertaking, and upstream partnerships in areas such as photonics. “We’re looking on both sides to see how we can maximise our impact and fully realise what’s in the SRIA,” IJzermans said.

Private sector contributions to BATT4EU have also been positive, reaching “almost double” the Commission’s contribution so far, he added.

The strategic actions included in the SRIA were developed by more than 500 experts as part of six working groups operated by the Batteries European Partnership Association, which represents industry in BATT4EU, and Batteries Europe, which brings together experts from research, industry and academia.

What’s the technology shopping list for the Horizon batteries partnership?

In its new strategy, BATT4EU lists several technologies that it says Europe needs to compete in the global batteries market. Some of these may appear in its future funding calls.

Raw materials

Advanced materials

Design

Manufacturing

Application: mobility

High-performance, cost-efficient and safe by design battery systems
Cloud-based battery management for multi-application integration
Accelerated multiphysical and virtual testing and development
Demonstrations for mobility applications

Application: Stationary storage

Dismantling and recycling

Transversal topics

The PIME Battery Summit is taking place in PTAK EXPO Nadarzyn, Poland, on 23-24 Mat 2024, hosting expert speeches and panel discussions, on pressing issues touching upon the energy and power industry.

Participating in the conference is an excellent opportunity for registrants to discuss with market leaders, connect with other professionals in the field and of course learn about the latest trends in the industry. The aim of the conference is also to create connections between professionals from different sectors, including specialists, entrepreneurs and industry enthusiasts.

The PIME BATTERY SUMMIT POLNAD conference is an excellent opportunity to gain knowledge of the latest trends and regulations in the battery industry, as well as to establish business contacts and exchange experiences between experts and representatives of various sectors.

Learn more on their website HERE

On 18 April 2024, BEPA hosted the first webinar of the Innovation Uptake Event Series, titled “Upscaling Innovation in the European battery value chain”, with more than 150 participants. Distinguished speakers provided their expert opinion on the biggest challenges faced by both established companies, researchers and startups alike, and how the battery ecosystem can improve through collaboration and risk mitigation. 

Florian Degen from Fraunhofer Research Institution for Battery Cell Production presented battery cell production in Europe, and the main challenges that producers and researchers face when trying to upscale battery cell technologies within said value chain, specifically tied to the production line. He pointed to the importance of possible defects with high damage potential, high scrap rates and other challenges faced.  

During the panel discussion that followed, Florian Degen, Kurt Vandeputte from BMW Group, and Sebastien Moitzheim from Powall shared their expert opinions on the state of the battery value chain, and what can be done to improve upscaling of new technologies. BEPA’s policy officer Bozorg Khanbaei, was there to moderate the discussion, asking all the challenging questions. 

All speakers highlighted transparency and adequate information on the priorities and bottlenecks of production, as well as accurate predictions of the state of the industry in the coming years. This will help innovators to better assess their technology in regards to different stages of production and help them tailor it accordingly. As the industry in Europe matures, sharing information and creating roadmaps and other publicly available documents that will help researchers know how to target their innovation towards industries. Performing adequate testing for their desired applications before pitching their technology, but also knowing the time it takes to integrate new technologies in production lines.   

Determination in policy and business as well as collaboration between these stakeholders are key factors, to help the European battery sector develop. Understanding the importance of planning for the long-term to support innovation and research in Europe will create certainty within the ecosystem and shift the players’ mentality. Finally, the importance of making public procurement and funding procedures simpler and faster, will ensure that funding is invested to address the challenges as they occur, throughout the value chain and finally cut overall industry costs like raw materials, equipment etc.  

Through the initiative of the Innovation Uptake Event Series, BEPA aims to facilitate sharing best practises within the battery R&I community, to help create a strong business case out of innovative technologies. Aimed both at startups and researchers, this series will feature training workshops, webinars as well as brokerage events and pitching sessions, to better plan their technologies to be implemented in large-scale production. Through first identifying the challenges of the European battery value chain, and then providing extensive training to overcome them! 

Don’t miss our upcoming workshop targeted specifically at start-ups, on Monday 6 May 2024, when you will be able to receive pitch training, to better showcase your ideas to industry players and businesses! 

Register HERE

Register HERE!

BATT4EU is organizing a deep-dive into specific SRIA themes, embarking in an in-depth exploration of the value chain, starting with raw materials and recycling, on 22 May 2024, 10:00 – 11:30 CET.

This webinar will cover the pivotal strategies Europe must adopt to fortify its battery raw materials supply chain, and the role of R&I to achieve this goal. To ensure the security of raw materials supply chain for batteries, it is important to adopt strategic actions that encompass not only procurement and sustainability but also emphasize the importance of innovation and circularity!

Horizon Europe projects are crucial in providing the support industrial players need to bring their initiatives to fruition. By embedding circularity at the core of project agendas, we can ensure a more sustainable approach that leverages recycling as a key component in securing the supply chain.

Questions linger on whether legislative measures like the Critical Raw Materials Act and the Battery Regulation are sufficient to guarantee autonomy and circularity in raw materials. It’s evident that there’s a knowledge gap that needs addressing, one that collaborative research can effectively fill, ensuring not just the achievement of raw materials autonomy but also the incorporation of circular practices throughout the lifecycle of batteries.

Our speakers include representatives of research, industry, associations and European Policy, who will provide their unique perspectives on the importance of taking meaningful action to support Europe’s raw material security, through supporting innovation and circularity.

Read the Agenda HERE

Send your application HERE for the Pitch Deck Challenge event on June 7 (Workshop)

The two-part workshop aims to support start-ups with battery-related activities in optimizing their pitch decks and improving their pitch presentations. Participants will learn to present their stories clearly, compellingly, and in a way that resonates with investors.

The workshop consists of a one-hour webinar, followed by an intensive “Pitch Deck Challenge” for selected start-ups. Thus, while the one-hour webinar is open for everyone, the “Pitch Deck Challenge” will be limited to max. 10 start-ups. Therefore start-ups will have to apply for it.

The workshop not only prepares start-ups to optimize their pitch decks and presentation skills but also offers them an exceptional opportunity to present their refined pitches directly to investors at an exclusive brokerage event in November 2024.

Procedure and time line:

On May 6: Introductory Webinar (11:00- 12:00 am)

The webinar offers a brief introduction to the topic and provides information on the application process for the “Pitch Deck Challenge” Workshop.

Application Process for the “Pitch Deck Challenge”

Application Process will start on May 6 (after the webinar) and will be open until May 13.  Startups wanting to participate in the workshop must complete and submit an online application form. This application form will ask for information on the business case and product.

On June 7: “Pitch Deck Challenge”

Each start-up presents its pitch deck to a jury of experts from the start-up ecosystem. Each start-up receives individual constructive feedback and tips and hints for improving their presentation. In addition, the participants will learn from each other by listening to the other’s pitches and feedback.

The aim of the “Pitch Deck Challenge” is to prepare the start-ups for the brokerage event with potential investors.

If you are not a start-up, don’t worry! You can still attend the open webinar if you are interested, and similar activities are coming, with a focus on battery researchers. Stay tuned for more information soon!

Send your application HERE for the Pitch Deck Challenge event on June 7 (Workshop)

The two-part workshop aims to support start-ups with battery-related activities in optimizing their pitch decks and improving their pitch presentations. Participants will learn to present their stories clearly, compellingly, and in a way that resonates with investors.

The workshop consists of a one-hour webinar, followed by an intensive “Pitch Deck Challenge” for selected start-ups. Thus, while the one-hour webinar is open for everyone, the “Pitch Deck Challenge” will be limited to max. 10 start-ups. Therefore start-ups will have to apply for it.

The workshop not only prepares start-ups to optimize their pitch decks and presentation skills but also offers them an exceptional opportunity to present their refined pitches directly to investors at an exclusive brokerage event in November 2024.

Procedure and time line:

On May 6: Introductory Webinar (11:00- 12:00 am)

The webinar offers a brief introduction to the topic and provides information on the application process for the “Pitch Deck Challenge” Workshop.

Application Process for the “Pitch Deck Challenge”

Application Process will start on May 6 (after the webinar) and will be open until May 13.  Startups wanting to participate in the workshop must complete and submit an online application form. This application form will ask for information on the business case and product.

On June 7: “Pitch Deck Challenge”

Each start-up presents its pitch deck to a jury of experts from the start-up ecosystem. Each start-up receives individual constructive feedback and tips and hints for improving their presentation. In addition, the participants will learn from each other by listening to the other’s pitches and feedback.

The aim of the “Pitch Deck Challenge” is to prepare the start-ups for the brokerage event with potential investors.

If you are not a start-up, don’t worry! You can still attend the open webinar if you are interested, and similar activities are coming, with a focus on battery researchers. Stay tuned for more information soon!

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