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Slovakia to have a National Battery Centre

7. 12. 2020 | 566 visits

The strategic heading of the automotive industry and mobility moves us towards electrification. This strategy is also supported by the legislation of the European Union, which broader objective is to decarbonise, reduce transport emissions and achieve climate neutrality in 2050. Supporting the development and production of advanced batteries is also an important activity in these efforts.

In Slovakia, too, several public and private organisations are already working on their research and development, but there is not yet a more comprehensive programme and effective cooperation. A consortium of several SAS institutes led by the Centre for advanced material application SAS (CEMEA), research universities and industry come up with a solution. “We are launching the preparation of the National Battery Centre project, which has the ambition to support the most promising components of the value chain of the battery industry.  We want to be among the best players within the European area,” said the President of SAS, Pavol Šajgalík.

The creation of the National Battery Centre project was initiated today in the form of a joint Memorandum by representatives of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, TU Košice, UPJŠ Košice, STU Bratislava, the University of Žilina, the Automotive Industry Association of the Slovak Republic and the Slovak Electric Vehicle Association. The project should cover three key areas that have been identified as those in which Slovak entities can best succeed considering their competencies.

Activities within Work Package 1 - Raw Materials, Materials and Battery Cells have the ambition to contribute to the development of advanced electrodes, electrolytes and cells in order to significantly improve the properties of batteries. The aim is also to identify the potential of raw materials available in Slovakia, the possibilities of their treatment and possible use. “Priority topics will be research and development of new materials for electrodes of lithium batteries also based on sulphur, solid electrolytes as well as new aluminium-air batteries, batteries based on sodium and ferrates and increasing performance and extending battery life,” explains Pavol Sovák, rector of the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice. 

Work Package 2 - Battery systems and their management should focus on the development of innovative battery management systems or battery sensors as well as advanced techniques for monitoring the condition of batteries and supercapacitors during their load in order to optimise their operating mode.

Another important topic is the recycling and further use of batteries, which should be addressed within Work Package 3. This Work Package will focus on the development of recycling processes for lithium batteries as well as the development of solutions for their reuse (the so-called second battery life).

“The aim of the National Battery Centre project is not only to work together on the development of technologies, but also to ensure their transfer to the real industry. As part of this public-private partnership, we want to focus on practical testing and validation of new technologies with industrial partners,” says Patrik Križanský, Director of the Slovak Electric Vehicle Association.

“In Slovakia, we also need to pay more attention to the training of young talents who will be competitive in the environment of such innovative technologies. Since the automotive industry is increasingly heading towards electrification, it is very important to support the training of specialists for battery technologies,” adds Alexander Matušek, President of the Automotive Industry Association of the Slovak Republic.

Edited by Monika Tináková

Foto: Katarína Gáliková, Martin Bystriansky

Video: Martin Bystriansky