EC Approves EUR 2.9bn State Aid for Battery Project; Croatia Among the Partners
Date: January 28th 2021
Author: Valerija Hozjan
The European Commission has approved a second Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) under EU State aid rules to support research and innovation in the battery value chain. The project titled ‘European Battery Innovation’ has been jointly prepared and notified by Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.
The twelve member states will provide up to EUR 2.9 billion in funding in the coming years. The public funding is expected to unlock an additional EUR 9 billion in private investments.
According to the European Commission Vice-President in charge of the European Battery Alliance, Maroš Šefčovič, this pan-European project will “help revolutionise the battery market. It will also boost our strategic autonomy in a sector vital for Europe's green transition and long-term resilience.”
The 42 involved companies, which include well-known large industrial players such as BMW, Fiat, Northvolt and Tesla, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups, will closely cooperate with each other through nearly 300 envisaged collaborations, and with over 150 external partners (universities, research organisations and SMEs) across Europe. The 46 foreseen projects will cover the entire battery value chain from the extraction of raw materials, the design and manufacturing of battery cells and packs, and finally the recycling and disposal in a circular economy, with a strong focus on sustainability.
As emphasised by the European Commission’s Executive Vice-President in charge of Competition Policy, Margrethe Vestager, the aim of the second IPCEI project is to improve the real-time control and measurement systems of batteries. It is also expected that the project will significantly improve the environmental footprint of battery cell production. Another of the aims of the project is the optimal use of digital technologies in processes across the value chain, using advanced data analytics to optimise production processes.
Overall project to be completed by 2028
According to the Commission, it is expected that the project will contribute to the development of a whole set of new technological breakthroughs, including different cell chemistries and novel production processes, as well as other innovations in the battery value chain, in addition to what will be achieved thanks to the first battery IPCEI.
The above-mentioned project complements the first IPCEI in the battery value chain that the Commission approved in December 2019, underlined the Commission.
“By establishing a complete, decarbonised and digital battery value chain in Europe, we can give our industry a competitive edge, create much needed jobs and reduce our unwanted dependencies on third countries – in short, make us more resilient,” stressed the European Commission’s Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton.
The overall project is expected to be completed by 2028 (with differing timelines for each sub-project).
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