Region: EU finance aid for battery projects

, SEE Energy News

The project, called European Battery Innovation was jointly prepared and notified by Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden. The European Commission (EC) has approved, under EU state aid rules, a second Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) to support research and innovation in the battery value chain.

The twelve member states will provide up to 2.9 billion euros in funding in the coming years. The public funding is expected to unlock an additional 9 billion euros in private investments, i.e. more than three times the public support. The project complements the first IPCEI in the battery value chain that the EC approved in December 2019.

The project will cover the entire battery value chain from extraction of raw materials, design and manufacturing of battery cells and packs, and finally the recycling and disposal in a circular economy, with a strong focus on sustainability. It is expected to contribute to the development of a whole set of new technological breakthroughs, including different cell chemistries and novel production processes, and other innovations in the battery value chain, in addition to what will be achieved thanks to the first battery IPCEI.

The EC assessed the proposed project under EU state aid rules, more specifically its communication on Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI). Where private initiatives supporting breakthrough innovation fail to materialize because of the significant risks such projects entail, the IPCEI state aid communication enables member states to jointly fill the gap to overcome these market failures, while ensuring that the EU economy at large benefits and limiting potential distortions to competition.

The project will involve 42 direct participants, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups with activities in one or more member states. The direct participants will closely cooperate with each other through nearly 300 collaborations envisaged, and with over 150 external partners, such as universities, research organizations and SMEs across Europe. The overall project is expected to be completed by 2028 (with differing timelines for each sub-project).

Among the beneficiaries, there are two companies from SEE region: Rimac Automobili (Croatia) and Sunlight Systems (Greece).