Global warming, the finite nature of fossil fuels and pollution in our cities have conspired to make renewable energy a European imperative. It is clear that electrical energy storage is a critical issue for the new energy economy and one for which rechargeable lithium batteries, alongside other technologies, has an important potential impact. Although the rechargeable lithium battery, first introduced in 1990, is the most important advance in energy storage in 100 years, it has fallen short in meeting technological demands. Further breakthroughs are sorely needed. Europe is blessed with a number of internationally leading research groups working on lithium-ion batteries. These have shown that nana-materials have the potential to revolutionize battery design. However, if a substantial leap forward is to be made in performance, research into these complex systems requires that a range of skills and expertise must work together in an INTEGRATED network. Eighteen top research groups (from 7 member states and 3 candidate/associated members), accounting for about 70% of European Li battery research, are keen to merge their efforts WITHIN A VIRTUALCENTRE to reduce redundancy, ensure complementarily, optimise collaboration to achieve vital research objectives, and share expensive facilities and resources, e.g. characterization platforms, pilot-plant battery fabrication. Innovative developments within Europe have all too often failed to realize their full potential through the inadequate size and disparity of individual research efforts. Integration will not only secure a sound scientific platform for battery research and training programs (European Masters degree, summer schools and workshops) to ensure long-lasting leadership but also provide, through the creation of an European Economic Interest Group, a more powerful and focussed mechanism for interacting with European industry and handling patent rights.
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Funding SchemeNoE - Network of Excellence