Germany Launches Funded Institution For Solid-State Battery Development

OCT 19 2018 BY MARK KANE 13

FestBatt to accelerate solid-state battery development.

Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) intends to support development of solid-state batteries in the country, quite similar to the example in Japan earlier this year, by launching FestBatt competence cluster.

FestBatt, coordinated by the University of Gießen (JLU), received €16 million ($18.3 million) for operations and already gathered 14 fourteen scientific institutions, which will work on five joint projects: three materials and two methods platforms.

According to the press release, solid-state batteries are seen as very promising, but still require a lot of research and most projects are the basic ones because there are huge material obstacles before even prototype cells can be made.

Our first thought on the initiative is that German institutions are far behind some individual companies around the world, because otherwise, no research center would join a bigger group if an in-house advanced prototype already existed.

Source: Green Car Congress

Categories: Battery Tech


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13 Comments on "Germany Launches Funded Institution For Solid-State Battery Development"

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“Our first thought on the initiative is that German institutions are far behind some individual companies around the world, because otherwise, no research center would join a bigger group if an in-house advanced prototype already existed.”

This is an academic effort into the basic science of components and materials, not a commercial endeavour to create a prototype or product. Collaborations across institutions in science are normal, especially for topics with high complexity (anode, cathode, materials, chemistry, assembly). Calls like this even explicitly would like to connect researchers across disciplines to challenge current thinking. Have you ever looked at the author lists of any high ranking scientific journals like Nature or Science?

Republicans call this “picking winners and losers”.

Scientists call this investing into the future.
Before reagan, America used to do this heavily from the mid 30s until reagan/GOP.
And when was America TRULY powerful?
Oh yeah. BEFORE reagan/GOP.

They do…unless it’s their company that receives the money….then it’s called investing into the future.

If it is a no bid contract they are keeping the country safe, they think that is hilarious.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

No. This is university-based research funding. Picking winners and losers is when money is given to companies.

“Germany Launches Funded Institution For Solid-State Battery Development”
Can somebody help me to understand that title please? Because IMHO in the source it was written different.
Does that mean that _one_ institution was funded? Or is it something like that the word “information” doesn’t mean “one piece of information” but all the information in a certain context?
At first I understood it in that way that a new institution was founded and funded. But actually Germany just gave money to institions (correct English?) that already existed for that projects.



institution is singular. With 14 different locations, this simply means that it is a SINGULAR institution with multiple locations.
What is difficult to understand about that?

a society or organization founded for a religious, educational, social, or similar purpose.
“a certificate from a professional institution”
synonyms: establishment, organization, institute, foundation, center; More
an established law, practice, or custom.
“the institution of marriage”
synonyms: practice, custom, convention, tradition, habit; More

So, the BOY SCOUTS is AN INSTITUTION with multiple locations.
Many non-profits are as well.

Yes, the plural of “institution” is “institutions”, at least in English.

I don’t think the distinction between a single institution vs a collaboration between institutions is as clear-cut as you’re suggesting. The original article says:

Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has launched a new €16-million cluster—FestBatt—to foster basic research into solid-state batteries. Fourteen scientific institutions have joined FestBatt; the competence cluster is coordinated by the University of Gießen (JLU).

Of course, the 14 or 15 different scientific institutions are each individual institutions. But the new organization, “FestBatt”, can itself be described as an institution. (The term “competence cluster” seems to me to be a mostly meaningless academic buzz-word.) After all, an institution is merely one type of organization, and organizations are often made up of smaller units, some or many of which themselves can be accurately described as organizations… including some institutions.

Most likely it is a poor translation job and it refers to institutes (a university department or independent research facility) not institutions. Basically the money is spread across several university departments with one department in Gießen coordinating the whole thing.

Thanks to everybody here! Obviously the English word “institution” is slightly different used than “Institution” in German.
I know some BMBF projects where like serveral universities etc. are working together but they didn’t found a new institution/association/[enter synonym]/etc. for that. One of the institutions take part is leading the project, that’s it. On the other hand, in some case (especially when it’s a long-term thing with serveral projects) they found something I would have translated with association (from the legal point of view like boy scouts, sports club, etc. – but basically weren’t made for maximizing profit like a company and even can be non-profit).


“…no research center would join a bigger group if an in-house advanced prototype already existed.”

That is probably a general rule for research funded by private industry. But research in academia (university research teams, non-profit laboratories, and the like) is often shared. A collaborative effort often produces more useful results when doing basic scientific research.

Let’s not forget that ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet, was created in order for researchers to share data.

This is a classic government funded research activity, where some universities and the DLR get funded to research all solid state batteries in a (usually rather loose) collaboration, meaning that the researchers meet up regularly (like twice a year) and share results. The funding sum is large, but a lot of institues are involved, and such a project is usually running for 3 years. Then its about 300 k€ per partner and year, to cover all expenses including travel, salary and equipment, to put things into perspective.
There are multiple other projects in all fields of research, often also with industry contributers. The ones with the industry are for example projects where the big OEMs participate to grab some tax money to spend on decades of fuel cell research with the breakthrough always just around the corner. Sadly, in the end the outcome is often only a few press releases and a scientific report with fancy pictures justifying more funding for a follow up project…