EU Approves Pan-European R&D Project in Battery Innovation Worth ~€11 Billion

Known as ‘European Battery Innovation’ it is being funded and coordinated by 12 Member States and 42 companies across Europe

 

EU Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager
Credit: European Union website

The European Commission has given its approval for a major research and development project called ‘European Battery Innovation’. The project is unique for its wide-ranging funding approach. 12 Member States of the EU – Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden – will raise €2.9 billion over the next few years. This public funding will be matched 3 times over by private funding of €9 billion.

Commenting on the project’s unique funding strategy, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: “For those massive innovation challenges for the European economy, the risks can be too big for just one Member State or one company to take alone. So, it makes good sense for European governments to come together to support the industry in developing more innovative and sustainable batteries. Today’s project is an example of how competition policy works hand in hand with innovation and competitiveness.”

The project is an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) and in addition to the governments of these 12 countries, will be supported by 42 companies including Tesla, BMW, FCA, NorthVolt, ElringKlinger, Manz and others. The European Commision has stated that the companies have planned nearly 300 collaborative initiatives for the project, with theoretical support from 150 universities and research institutes spread across Europe. Each of these initiatives will operate according to their own timelines, although the European Battery Innovation project is slated to reach completion by 2028.

This is the second project that the EU has approved under its state aid program to support research and development in battery storage infrastructure. The first IPCEI was initiated by France, and approved by the EU in 2019. Between these two mega-initiatives, an estimated €13 billion has been raised by governments and private players. Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission for Interinstitutional Relations and the driving force behind European Battery Alliance, said: “Thanks to its focus on the next generation of batteries, this strong pan-European project will help revolutionize the battery market. It will also boost our strategic autonomy in a sector vital for Europe’s green transition and long-term resilience. Some three years ago, the EU battery industry was hardly on the map. Today, Europe is a global battery hotspot.”