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Posted: September 29, 2009
New battery research centre to be set up at Muenster University
(Nanowerk News) A new battery research centre is to be set up at the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster. The aim of the MEET (Münster Electrochemical Energy Technology) research project, headed by Prof. Martin Winter and Dr. Gerhard Hörpel from the Institute of Physical Chemistry, is to make electrochemical energy storage – first of all and primarily lithium-ion technology – more competitive in North Rhine-Westphalia and Germany as a whole. This will now be done by stepwise building up an Institute of Material Research at WWU.
The Ministry of Innovation, Science, Research and Technology of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia is funding the project to the amount of €5.5 million for the coming three years. Münster University is contributing €7.5 million. Further funding is coming from the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy as well as the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.
The medium and long term aim of the MEET Centre is to provide the technology for innovative materials for electrochemical electricity storage, with a markedly better cost-performance ratio and improved safety for both stationary and automotive applications. “Against a background of an enormous increase internationally in the importance of electrical energy storage,“ says Dr. Hörpel, “and particularly in our national electromobility and energy efficiency programmes, the planned research centre will bring together in one place the requirements for scientific basic research and industrial applications.”
The University of Münster has strengths – its long-standing interdepartmental competence in materials sciences and analytics, as well as the competence in applied energy materials research and development newly acquired through the endowed Professorship for Applied Materials Sciences for the Storage and Conversion of Energy – which will be integrated and deepened in the MEET concept. As a result, the potential for synergies will be exploited to the full. “With the introduction of MEET as an essential link in the chain, and one which was hitherto missing,“ says Dr. Hörpel, “the gap will be closed between basic research and research commisioned by industry in the field of electrochemical storage technologies. And it will be happening at what is currently the most promising place in Germany in this field – Münster.
The prospective completion date for the MEET battery laboratory – the “core“ of the MEET battery centre, in which new battery materials will be developed and battery prototypes will be produced – is autumn 2010.