IPCEI: an opportunity to accelerate the EU battery innovation roadmap
People acquainted to the EU jargon might have heard what the “IPCEI” stands for, but for many others it might be the very first time they hear the acronym. However, when spelled-out to Important Projects of Common European Interest, one may deduce what it is all about. For Umicore the initiative is of key added value for its growth and competitiveness in the European battery value chain.
The Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) is a strategic tool to support the development of European business and value chains to tackle global challenges. In short, an IPCEI is an integrated collection of different industrial projects, minimum from two European Member States, and granted with considerable financial support. It differs to other state aid or funding programs as it goes above the allowed innovation and development funds and promotes innovation up to the first industrial deployment. Some of the conditions for projects to be granted with the IPCEI status are to contribute to the EU’s strategic objective, to be highly ambitious and to go beyond the state of the art in the sector concerned.
Battery production in Europe is of strategic interest for its economy and society because of its potential in clean mobility and energy, job creation, sustainability and competitiveness. In 2019, the European Commission approved a total of €3.2 billion public support by seven Member States for the first-ever IPCEI targeting the industrial development of a performant, cost-competitive and sustainable battery value chain. Next to State Aid, an additional €5 billion in private investments is expected to be unlocked.
Umicore’s know-how in metallurgy, battery materials technology and the circular economy, and our partnerships with different universities and companies puts us in prime position to be successful in the first-ever IPCEI on batteries. Moreover, it will further contribute to essential parts of our existing collaborations and technology developments.
In the frame of the IPCEI on batteries, Umicore will undertake R&D and first industrial deployment in Belgium, Germany and Poland – three countries where Umicore has an innovation and/or industrial basis. On the side of battery materials, our IPCEI activities will target the development of more performant and sustainable battery materials, cathode and anode, to improve the driving range of electric vehicles while minimizing their environmental footprint. In the frame of the IPCEI, Umicore will also tackle the optimization and upscaling of our battery dismantling, recycling & refining pilot.
The IPCEI is thus a formidable opportunity to support EU’s ambitious battery innovation roadmap, from the lab to the market, together with various key industrial partners along the battery value chain. It will accelerate the pace of bringing better products to the market and using production methods with lower environmental impact to compete in the global battery arena.
To learn more on the IPCEI on batteries and the role of all its industrial participants, visit our website at https://www.ipcei-batteries.eu/