Yesterday, 15th September 2021, 30 representatives from the European Commission and the Batteries European Partnership Association gathered in occasion of their first Partnership Board meeting!
Co-chaired by Philippe Froissard (Head of Unit Clean Planet at DG RTD) and Michael Lippert (BEPA President, SAFT), the meeting was opened by the European Commission with a speech highlighting the need to work hand-in-hand for a competitive, sustainable and circular battery value-chain in Europe.
In his welcoming remarks, Philippe Froissard noted that the meeting was an excellent opportunity to look into the ongoing and future activities of the Batt4EU Partnership, but also to look back at the progress made since 2019 when the first discussions around the proposal to establish a European Partnership for batteries were happening. At this stage, there was indeed no association and no established Partnership, but battery experts nevertheless worked jointly to define R&I recommendations for the Horizon Europe Work Programme 2021-22, and, as he mentioned: “this process was successful because both parties were already applying the principles of the Partnership: co-creation and trust”.
BEPA now brings together more than 178 members and the Batt4EU Partnership was officially launched in June 2021 with the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding, the document witnessing the collaboration between the European commission and the private-side.
Michael Lippert affirmed that this “co-creation spirit” should be kept for all future meetings; the Partnership Board shall be a forum to discuss the needs and the fit-for-purpose solutions for the European battery community.
These welcoming remarks were then followed by an update on BEPA members, activities and collaborations established in the previous months. In this perspective, the European Commission highlighted the added value of creating synergies and collaborations with other European Partnerships and battery initiatives.
After discussing how the next Horizon Europe Work Programmes will be elaborated, one of the main achievements of the Partnership Board meeting was the finalisation of the Partnership Board rules of procedure, which establishes the guiding principles of the relationship between the European Commission and BEPA. In this perspective, it was re-assessed that the Partnership Board should be the main body to provide battery R&I recommendations to the European Commission.
After more than a year of work, the Batt4EU Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA), the key document summarising all the R&I priorities of the battery community in the upcoming years, was also officially adopted and is now publicly available! You can download it via this link.
To conclude, the European Commission provided more information to BEPA delegates with regards to the Additional Activities Plan that will need to be approved by the Partnership Board by the end of the year.
As a next step, the elaboration of the recommendations for the next Horizon Europe Work Programme 2023-24 will start within BEPA Technical Working Groups. The second Partnership Board meeting will take place by the end of 2021 with a view to discuss the consolidated R&I recommendations.