A $25 million grant from the Federal Government will go towards the development of an industry-led cooperative research centre that will boost specialist battery manufacturing in Australia.
The Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) will help tackle industry-identified gaps in the battery value chain, support battery deployment and optimise the circular economy for battery waste recycling.
The CRC will focus on three research programs where industry, government and researchers have joined together: battery industry development; the processing of minerals, metals and materials for batteries; and the development of a new battery storage system.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, said the CRC, headquartered at Curtin University in Perth, would also look to expand battery minerals and chemicals production.
“Batteries and battery development play a vital role in our society and present excellent export opportunities. This research will allow Australia to capture a significant portion of the benefits in global battery industries,” Ms Andrews said.
“The CRC Program is a proven model of industry and research cooperation that produces impressive commercial results.
“Our aim is to strengthen the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries.”
The grant will be paid over six years and participants in the CRC will contribute more than $110 million in cash and in-kind.
The CRC will fund 40 PhD students and undertake an education and training program with activities that will assist in building a workforce to support Australia’s future battery industries.
A vocational education and training sector engagement program will also be conducted, and small and medium enterprise workshops will be held to enhance business capabilities and competitiveness.
“Australia has rich stocks of critical minerals such as lithium, and this CRC will help us to capture more value from these resources through downstream processing and manufacturing, delivering on the vision set out in the government’s Critical Minerals Strategy,” Ms Andrews said.
“This announcement also builds on the recent opening of round seven of CRC-P grants which will see up to $20 million invested into critical minerals projects.”
Lauren Butler is the assistant editor for Utility Magazine. She’s based in Melbourne, Australia.