A new European Battery Academy launched to boost skills for fast-growing battery ecosystem in Europe
The Sixth High-Level Meeting of the European Battery Alliance took place in Brussels to discuss the progress in developing the battery value chain in Europe and to address the most pressing challenges on the way forward. The Commission also presented priority areas for the work of the European Battery Alliance in 2022.
Despite the pandemic and significant supply disruptions, the EU has continued to make headway in establishing an innovative, sustainable and globally competitive battery value chain. The High-Level Meeting noted that 111 major battery projects are being developed across EU Member States, with the total level of investment along the entire value chain amounting to €127 billion.
The European Battery Academy was launched in the margins of the High-Level Meeting. By signing a letter of intent between the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and EIT InnoEnergy, the Commission will support the Academy with a grant of €10 million under the REACT-EU.
The Academy aims to effectively coordinate re-skilling and up-skilling efforts at European level and to provide for the immediate roll out of high-quality training across Member States. It is part of the EU's Skills Agenda, the Pact for Skills and a tangible EU contribution towards meeting the demand of 800,000 workers that will need to be re-skilled or up-skilled in the battery industry by 2025.
The Commission presented the priority areas for action in 2022, namely:
- Swift agreement on and adoption of the Commission proposal for regulation on sustainable batteries;
- Continued diversification of sources of battery raw materials through cooperation with trade partner countries rich in minerals;
- Streamlining permitting procedures for battery raw material projects in Member States, in line with highest environmental standards;
- Improving and facilitating access to funding for projects in Europe, with the support of the European Investment Bank and European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, the Clean Technology Materials Task Force (involving the Commission, European Raw Materials Alliance and European Battery Alliance both under coordination by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology), and the Sustainability Battery Materials Fund of the European Battery Alliance;
- The launch of national re-skilling and up-skilling programmes, taking advantage of the newly-established EBA Academy, to prepare and rollout country-specific re-skilling and up-skilling programmes.
The High-Level Meeting, chaired by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, was attended by Commissioner Thierry Breton, Commissioner Nicolas Schmit, 15 EU Member States, Vice-Presidents of the European Investment Bank Thomas Östros and Ambroise Fayolle, First Vice-President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Jürgen Rigterink, Member of the European Parliament Hildegard Bentele, and the CEO of the EIT InnoEnergy Diego Pavía.
The European Battery Alliance was launched by the European Commission in 2017 to create a complete, globally competitive and sustainable battery value chain in the EU. This was part of a broader objective to ensure strategic autonomy in a sector that is critical to the ongoing green and digital transition of the European economy.
The Alliance has provided a framework to bring together the Commission, Member States, the European Investment Bank and industrial and innovation actors to work on a joined-up agenda. The underpinning objectives and policies were set out in the Strategic Action Plan on Batteries adopted in 2018.
The work of the Alliance has acted as a catalyst for the rapid development of the battery ecosystem. The annual added value being created by a fully developed European battery ecosystem is estimated around €625 billion by 2030.
EIT InnoEnergy, one of Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is coordinating the activities undertaken by European Battery Alliance including overseeing the work of the academy and the establishment of learning programmes and intelligence centres.