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Batteries Europe: The European Technology and Innovation Platform (ETIP) reinforces its dynamising role


The European Technology and Innovation Platform (ETIP) for Batteries Europe held its General Assembly on 21 June 2022 in a hybrid event in Brussels that brought together 160 participants from across the value chain, focusing on relaunching its roadmap and driving forward its action plan.

Batteries Europe is a research and innovation project, born in the framework of Horizon Europe, which aims to foster the collaboration of similar initiatives in the European Union to strengthen the European battery industry.

What role does Zabala Innovation play in Batteries Europe?

Zabala Innovation participates as leaders of the organisational support of the platform and its bodies, as well as backstopping support to the coordinator: Batteries Europe Secretariat (BEST), managed by EIT InnoEnergy. This means, providing administrative and logistic support in the operational activities of the ETIP governance, which includes: six thematic working groups, the steering board, cross-cutting task forces and the national and regional coordinators group.

Other members of the consortium are: VDI/VDE Innovation + Technology, European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE), European Energy Research Alliance (EERA), CLERENS, Applied Research, Technology and Innovation (SINTEF, in Norwegian), National Interuniversity Consortium of Materials Science and Technology (INSTM, in Italian), the research center of electrochemical and thermal energy storage of the Basque Country (CIC energiGUNE) and the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA).

Why an ETIP for Batteries?

The European Technology and Innovation Platforms (ETIP) concept was created in 2015 by the European Union to contribute to the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) and its roadmap. It seeks to bring together similar initiatives and forums and to enable cooperation and joint implementation of activities.

Europe’s ambitious energy transition targets require several shifts towards cleaner, low-carbon energy generation and batteries have a core role to play. As Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission emphasised during his speech in the first General Assembly: it is a challenge to “reduce our dependence on imports of critical raw materials, we need to focus on developing locally produced batteries using non-critical raw materials”.

The Second Mandate of Batteries Europe

After a successful first mandate which started in 2019, this second one opened with the discussion of the priorities and the strategy for the next three years. This includes the partnership with other initiatives related to batteries, as well as fostering the integration and collaboration with the whole European battery Research and Innovation ecosystem.

Following the introduction, a first panel discussion took place tackling the Japanese, American and European collaboration opportunities, with a special focus on the competitive environment of the research and innovation of batteries.

The second panel debated the need to invest in recycling and treatment of hazardous substances. The importance of “reverse logistics” was also stressed as a way to amplify the influence of the recycling process.

The work of Zabala Innovation in the field of batteries

Zabala Innovation is one of the top players in the sector. Five of the seven projects that were submitted in the last call “Cross-sectoral solutions for the climate transition” from Horizon Europe’s Cluster 5 (Climate, energy and mobility), have received funding, representing approximately the 14% of the total funds allocated to the call. Some of them are:

  • SEATBELT (Solid-state lithium metal battery within situ hybrid electrolyte) project aims to develop a new generation of efficient and safe battery materials that meet European criteria for decarbonisation, sustainability, affordability, and self-sufficiency in production.
  • NAIMA (“Na Ion materials as essential components to manufacture robust battery cells for non-automotive applications”) project will demonstrate that two new generations of highly competitive and safe Na-ion cells developed and tested during the project are some of the most robust and cost-effective alternatives to unseat current and future Li-based technologies in dedicated storage applications.
  • HELENA (Halide solid state batteries for electric vehicles and aircrafts) responds to the need of the development of a safe, novel high energy efficiency and power density solid state battery (4b generation batteries) cells, based on high-capacity Ni-rich cathode (NMC), high-energy Li metal (LiM) anode and Li-ion superionic halide solid electrolyte for application in electric vehicles and, especially in aircrafts.

At a Spanish national level, Zabala Innovation is also involved in more than a few initiatives in the sector:

  • BASQUEVOLT: this new factory will be located in the Basque Country and expects to kickstart the battery cell production by 2027. The purpose of the energy storage produced will be e-mobility, that is, to increase the autonomy of vehicles and reduce the recharge time of batteries. The project is managed by Iberdrola, CIE and Enagás.
  • BEEPLANET was born in 2018 with the aim of creating a sustainable energy model leading the integral management of second life batteries from electric vehicles.
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