The Slovak University of Technology will participate in the project of the National Battery Center. It will be a comprehensive program of research and development of advanced electric vehicle batteries. It consists of a consortium of several SAS institutes under the leadership of the Center for the Use of Advanced Materials of Slovak Academy of Sciences (CEMEA), research universities and industry. Today they signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
The strategic direction of the automotive industry and mobility is moving us towards electrification. This strategy is also promoted by European Union legislation, the wider aim of which is to decarbonise, reduce transport emissions and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Supporting the development and production of advanced batteries is also an important activity in this effort.
In Slovakia, too, several public and private organizations are already working on their research and development, but so far there is no more comprehensive program and effective cooperation. A consortium of several SAS institutes led by the Center for the Use of Advanced Materials of SAS (CEMEA), research universities and industry is coming up with a solution. "We are launching the preparation of the National Battery Center project, which has the ambition to support the most promising components of the value chain of the battery industry. We want to be one of the best players in the European area," said Pavol Šajgalík, President of SAS.
The creation of the National Battery Center project was initiated today in the form of a joint Memorandum by representatives of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, STU Bratislava, TU Košice, UPJŠ Košice, the University of Žilina, the Association of the Automotive Industry and the Slovak Electromobility Association. The project should cover three key areas that have been identified as those in which Slovak entities can best succeed in terms of their competencies.
"The project of the National Battery Center has the ambition to put together the best of the scientific research capacities that our country has at its disposal and, together with experts from practice, to prove that Slovakia can be relied not only as a quality manufacturer but also a capable developer. The Slovak University of Technology, especially its faculties of chemical and food technology, electrical engineering and informatics, mechanical engineering and materials technology have the potential to contribute to the success of this project," said STU Rector Miroslav Fikar.
The activities of 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 intention 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 sulfur, solid electrolytes as well as new aluminum-air batteries, batteries based on sodium and iron ions and increasing performance and extending battery life," explains Stanislav Kmeť, rector Technical University of Košice.
Work Package 2 "Battery systems and their management" should focus on the development of innovative battery management systems or battery sensors and on advanced techniques for monitoring the condition of batteries and supercapacitors during their load in order to optimize their operating mode.
An important topic is also the recycling and further use of batteries, it should be addressed in work package 3. It will focus on the development of recycling processes for lithium batteries and the development of solutions for their reuse (so-called second battery life).
"The goal of the National Battery Center 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 Association for Electromobility.
"In Slovakia, we also need to focus more intensively on the preparation of young talents who will be competitive in the environment of such innovative technologies. As the automotive industry is increasingly moving towards electrification, it is very important to support the training of specialists in battery technology," adds Alexander Matušek, President of the Association of the Automotive Industry.
The memorandum of understanding, which declares the willingness to cooperate in the preparation of the National Battery Center project, was signed by SAS President Pavol Šajgalík, STU Rector Miroslav Fikar, UPJŠ Rector Pavol Sovák, TUKE Rector Stanislav Kmeť, Rector of the University of Žilina Jozef Jandačka, Slovak President Alexander Matušek and Slovak Director Association for Electromobility SEVA Patrik Križanský.