The Future of Batteries workshop aimed to engage the research community and industry in preparing a Flagship initiative on future battery technologies. It presented the state of play in the preparation of this initiative and encouraged stakeholders into a dialogue on the technological priorities that it should address.

people participating in the panel of the Future of Batteries workshop

The Future of Batteries workshop took place on 29 October 2018 in Vienna. It was hosted by the INDustrial TECHnologies 2018 - Innovative industries for smart growth (INDTECH2018) conference - an event held under the auspices of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and organised by the Battery 2030+ initiative with the support of the European Commission.

The workshop was opened by Mr Roberto Viola, Director General of DG CNECT. Read Mr. Viola’s blogpost on this theme here: How big data and AI can help the batteries of the future.

Several presentations of the initiative were made by a number of key leaders in this field, followed by a panel discussion:

A draft 'Battery 2030+ Vision Document' highlighting the proposed vision and research objectives of this initiative was prepared before the event and was updated shortly afterwards integrating the comments of the participants.

During the discussion, the participants broadly supported the proposed vision and objectives of the initiative. They acknowledged its importance for providing breakthrough technologies to the European battery industry across the full value chain and for enabling long-term European leadership in both existing markets (e.g. road transport, stationary energy storage) and future emerging applications (e.g. robotics, medical devices, aerospace, internet of things). They stressed that the initiative complements well the shorter term and more incremental research focused on next generation battery technologies driven by industrial needs. It also fits well in the broader context of the EU Battery Alliance activities. They welcomed the focus on research accelerating battery material discovery and interface engineering and on research for adding smart sensing and self-healing functionalities into future batteries. The manufacturability, recyclability and sustainability of future batteries 'by design' are important success factors and should be considered from the start. They valued the chemistry-neutral and application-neutral approaches proposed while recommending that technical industry requirements should be one of the drivers of the research proposed. Finally, they highlighted the need to further define the relationship with other battery-related initiatives, considering aspects such as IPR management, standardisation, collaboration and transfer of knowledge.

Following on the workshop, the Battery 2030+ group leading the Flagship preparatory work was encouraged to continue to engage with the research stakeholders (academia, industry and SMEs) and with the Member States and Associated Countries in preparing the initiative. The 'Battery 2030+ Vision document' will be the basis of a 'Manifesto' highlighting the vision, objectives, rationale and approach of the initiative. A first version is expected to be published in December. It will serve as the basis for launching the flagship research activities under Horizon 2020.

The event was very well attended, showing great interest from academia, research organisations and industry from all over Europe. Participants included industry representatives covering different parts of the battery value chain (e.g. materials and chemicals, manufacturing battery components and systems, recycling), users (e.g. energy suppliers, OEMs), universities, research organisations, research associations as well as a few representatives from the EU, Member States and Associated Countries.

Background

Following from the 'Future Battery Technologies for Energy Storage' workshop organised on 10 January 2018, the Battery 2030+ initiative, coordinated by Professor Kristina Edström from the Uppsala University, is leading the preparation of a long-term Flagship initiative aiming at ultra-high performance and smart and sustainable batteries. The initiative was announced in the Commission Strategic Action Plan on batteries published in May 2018 in the context of the EU Battery Alliance initiative.