RESEARCH

Curtin University-led collaboration nets $18m funding for battery research

SOURCE: engineer story/Shutterstock
With the increased uptake of renewables, battery technology is transforming the way energy is stored and deployed.

The Australia Federal Government announced Thursday it will commit AUD25 million (US$18 millon) in funding to the newly approved Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC).

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, announced that the Curtin University-led collaboration of 58 industry, government and research partners had been successful in its bid for the project.

“The Future Battery Industries CRC will investigate opportunities for greater efficiencies in the extraction and refinement of battery minerals,” Future Chair Tim Shanahan said in a press release.

“Given Australia’s abundant resources of battery minerals and world-class resources sector, the potential to promote the nation’s premium-quality, ethically sourced and safe battery minerals and metals through forensic-accredited and traceable sources will also be investigated, paving the way for Australia to position itself as a global leader in the international battery value chain.”

With the increased uptake of renewables, battery technology is transforming the way energy is stored and deployed.

The FBICRC will research areas including value chain development, sourcing of materials and the wider deployment of batteries in homes, infrastructures and society.

The research partnership will address industry-identified gaps in the battery industries value chain.  According to FBICRC’s website:

“The aim is to expand battery minerals and chemicals production, develop opportunities for specialist battery manufacture; support battery deployment; and optimise the circular economy for the use and re-use of battery systems, delivering an estimated AUD2.5 billion benefit to the Australian economy over the next 15 years.”

The government will provide the promised AUD25 million over a period of six years. During that time, industry partners in the CRC are expected to contribute over AUD110 million in cash to support the centre.

The CRC will also provide finance to 40 PhD students and carry out an education and training programme with the goal of establishing a workforce to support the country’s future battery industries.