ENERGETIC and NEXTBAT powering innovation together: bridging industry and research in battery breakthroughs

In the dynamic landscape of battery innovation, collaboration between academia and industry has emerged as a pivotal driver of progress. EU projects in this field leverage the advantages of collaborative efforts among research and industrial partners within their consortia, facilitating a smooth transition from theoretical research to tangible applications. The synergy between research and industry not only fosters innovation but also accelerates its pace. 

Such is the case of the European projects, ENERGETIC and NEXTBAT, both initiated in mid-2023 and currently progressing toward the development of next-generation batteries, paving the way for a more sustainable future. This article delves into the synergies and complementarities between both projects, shedding light on their shared objectives, collaborative spirit, and contributions to sustainable energy solutions while bridging the gap between academia and industry actors.  

Unveiling the projects forging advancements in battery innovation 

The ENERGETIC project and the NEXTBAT project share compelling commonalities that fuel their collaboration. Both funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe program, they unite in their mission to drive electrification and sustainability in the transport sector as well as stationary use cases by revolutionizing battery management. Addressing critical challenges in the energy sector, both projects boast diverse consortiums comprising industrial and academic partners from various European countries. 

Notably, both projects converge on the development of the next-generation Battery Management System (BMS) and are concurrently involved in creating a digital twin—a virtual counterpart that mirrors the physical battery system for advanced monitoring and analysis. Despite these shared endeavours, each project maintains a distinctive contribution and approach in their respective work. 

ENERGETIC targets optimising the utilisation of battery systems in both transportation and stationary applications, in a path towards more reliable, powerful, and safer operations. It contributes to translational enhanced sensing technologies, exploiting multiple AI models supported by Edge and Cloud computing.  

NEXTBAT objectives align closely with EU CO2 reduction targets. NEXTBAT integrates recyclable components to minimize the carbon footprint of innovative battery systems, aiming for a 30-50% increase in energy/power density, a 25% reduction in battery weight with lightweight materials, and up to a 20% boost in battery lifetime through advanced management systems. Furthermore, the project aims to establish a pioneering framework for standardizing the design of next-generation battery systems. 

In both cases, the project’s outcomes are anticipated to have scientific, economic, and societal impacts, ranging from advancing knowledge in battery management to stimulating innovation, creating jobs, and influencing EU policies for a more sustainable future. 

Industry-academia synergy in driving battery innovation 

The collaborative efforts between investigation and industrial partners within ENERGETIC and NEXTBAT have yielded diversified benefits and accelerated the pace of innovation. In the words of NEXTBAT coordinator, Mikko Pihlatie (VTT): “Our project is in the middle of the technology readiness scale, that’s where research and industry need to meet to bridge the gap from research towards applications”. Shared resources, expertise, and the exchange of ideas have facilitated a seamless transition from laboratory prototypes to real-world solutions.  

Academic researchers possess a vast repository of knowledge and expertise that can be harnessed to address real-world challenges encountered by industry. Additionally, industrial partners have the resources needed to develop innovations and they are aware of the needs and gaps of the market, possessing insights into consumer demands, industry trends, and emerging technologies. “On one hand, the research partners are primarily oriented towards future technologies and utilization, while the industry players aid in the identification of their requirements and determining necessary measures” emphasizes Dr. Ahmed Samet (INSA Strasbourg), ENERGETIC coordinator. 

With this, moving away from short-term projects towards longer-term strategic relationships between academia and industry leaders holds immense potential for fostering sustained collaboration. And this is where European projects take an important role. Through sustained engagement, clear objectives, and a commitment to open research practices, these projects can drive meaningful progress toward a better synergy between academia and industry. 

A long way to go toward green & electric transport 

In conclusion, within the ever-evolving landscape of battery innovation, the collaborative synergy between academia and industry emerges as a pivotal force propelling transformative progress. The EU projects ENERGETIC and NEXTBAT exemplify the potential for positive change when academia and industry unite in the pursuit of sustainable energy solutions. As this collaborative journey unfolds, we eagerly anticipate the future developments and innovations that will undoubtedly arise from this dynamic partnership. 

Collaboration has just begun, and we are excited to see what comes next! Stay tuned to keep up with all advances. 


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