New centre of excellence for battery research

2020-02-18

6–7 February will mark the start for the new centre of excellence for battery research – Batteries Sweden–- which will be coordinated by Uppsala University. The centre will support cutting edge battery research in collaboration with companies working to strengthen both research and the industry.

Daniel Brandell, Professor at the Department of
Chemistry and director of the centre.
Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt

The centre of excellence for batteries will be called “Batteries Sweden”. Its formal start date is 1 March, and it is being supported by Sweden’s innovation agency, Vinnova.

“Our intention is for the centre to be here for a long time. Vinnova can grant us funding for ten years,” Daniel Brandell, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and director of the centre, tells us.

Chalmers, the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and the research institute Rise are among the participants, together with some 15 companies, including ABB, Volvo, Scania and Northvolt. The participating higher education institutions (HEIs) make up much of the academic community, which has historically been responsible for much of the battery research out of Sweden. The HEIs still conduct most research in the field.

“We also have a long tradition of cooperating and participating in joint projects. This is a community that we can learn from. It will also be exciting to work more with companies with whom we haven’t had much collaboration previously.”

Covers the entire supply chain

Companies that are involved in the centre cover the entire supply chain for batteries, from raw materials to battery cell manufacturing, adaptations within the automotive industry, power electronics and recycling.

“Companies that model batteries and develop software are also included,” says Brandell.

The work will take the form of projects grouped around various topics. This includes new materials and concepts for batteries, smart batteries and modelling and characterisation.

“Within these defined areas, we will pursue a number of projects that include some of the HEIs and companies, where there are common systems and materials that we are interested in.”

The questions examined in the research projects will come from both the HEIs and the industry.

“One third of the funding for the centre comes from Vinnova, one third from the HEIs and one third from the companies. This means that there must be a clear common interest from both universities and businesses if this is to work,” says Daniel Brandell.

Relevant issues for Swedish industry

The hope is that the initiative will lead to ground-breaking research around issues that are relevant for Swedish industry.

“We will help to make Swedish industry better. The research that we carry out and the materials that we produce will also lead to actual products and as researchers, we find this very exciting.”

In turn, the companies will gain access to first-class research infrastructure and considerable expertise within the field.

“We are absolutely at the leading edge of research, and if Swedish companies are to be able to assert themselves and compete, they need this type of expertise.”

Josefin Svensson

THREE CENTRES OF EXCELLENCE AT UPPSALA UNIVERSITY

Biomaterials, new medicines and batteries are the research fields that benefiting from the three new centres of excellence, led by Uppsala University, opening with funding from the innovation agency Vinnova.
 

Batteries Sweden
Research into creating new types of light, inexpensive, environmentally friendly and safe batteries with ultra high energy storage.
Project Managers: Kristina Edström and Daniel Brandell, professors at the Department of Chemistry.

Swedish Drug Delivery Center (SweDeliver)
Research aimed at taking a world-leading position, educate the next generation of scientists, build ecosystems for pharmaceutical scientific and industrial expertise, and contribute to the development of new innovative drugs for diseases for which there are currently no treatments.
Project Manager: Christel Bergström, senior lecturer at the Department of Pharmacy.

Additive Manufacturing for the Life Sciences
Centre of research, development and regulatory aspects of new technologies for 3D printing, including complex structures for improved bioprocesses, more reproducible 3D tumour models and faster optimisation of medication.
Project Manager: Cecilia Persson, professor at the Department of Materials Sciences.