NEXTBAT General Consortium Meeting: Advancing Battery Technology in Stockholm

Dates: June 19-20, 2024 

Venue: RISE facility (Drottning Kristinas väg 61B, Stockholm)

The NEXTBAT project consortium recently gathered at the RISE facility in Stockholm for an engaging and productive two-day meeting. This event marked a significant milestone in our journey towards developing the safest and most sustainable battery systems, and I was privileged to be part of it.

Day 1: Deep Dives into Work Packages and Collaborative Discussions

Our meeting kicked off with a warm welcome from Anwar Ahniyaz (RISE) and Mikko Pihlatie (VTT), who set the tone for an exciting two days ahead. The morning sessions provided comprehensive updates on various work packages, each presentation sparking lively discussions and collaborative problem-solving.

Project Management and Communication

Mikko Pihlatie from VTT detailed the progress in project management under WP8. His presentation on streamlining workflows and optimizing resource allocation led to a robust discussion on best practices. Blanca del Guayo and Matthias Jousseaume from ZABALA then captivated us with their strategies for effective communication and dissemination under WP7, highlighting the importance of intellectual property management and networking with other EU initiatives. Their session ended with a brainstorming on leveraging social media for broader reach and impact, which had everyone contributing creative ideas.

Technology Choices and System Design

Anwar Ahniyaz from RISE walked us through the criteria for choosing the right technology, emphasizing safety and performance. His insights on balancing innovation with practicality led to a fascinating debate on the future of battery materials. Muhammad Rehan from VTT followed with an update on system design and prototyping under WP2, showcasing some impressive prototypes. His detailed explanation of the design considerations sparked numerous questions and suggestions from the audience, particularly around thermal management and modular design.

After a refreshing lunch break, the afternoon sessions delved into the technical aspects of software development and hardware design. David Modesto from BSC CNS discussed advanced models, tools, and algorithms under WP3, leading to an animated discussion on integrating machine learning for predictive maintenance. Yves Stauffer from CSEM then shared breakthroughs in electronics and hardware for BMS under WP4, which prompted a deep dive into the challenges of miniaturization and integration.

Manufacturing, Recycling, and Testing

Hao Guo from FHG provided an insightful presentation on manufacturing processes and recycling strategies under WP5. His emphasis on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) resonated with everyone, leading to a constructive exchange on improving recyclability. Etienne Andre Knipping from Applus wrapped up the technical sessions with a thorough overview of testing, validation, and certification under WP6. His talk on compliance and certification processes generated a lot of interest, especially concerning new industry standards.

Q&A with the Project Officer

One of the highlights was the interactive Q&A session with our Project Officer. This session was invaluable as it addressed specific queries and provided clarity on the project’s objectives and timelines. The feedback was positive, and the session underscored our commitment to meeting our milestones.

General Assembly and Working Dinner

The day concluded with a General Assembly meeting, where strategic decisions were made, followed by a working dinner. The dinner was not only a time for relaxation but also for deepening professional relationships and fostering a spirit of camaraderie.

Day 2: Exploring RISE and SEEL Facilities

The second day began with an introduction to RISE’s impressive facilities by Ahmed Etman. The tour of RISE’s Stockholm facilities was a highlight, offering a first-hand look at the cutting-edge technology and infrastructure supporting our innovative research.

Prototype Workshops

The workshops led by Yves Stauffer from CSEM and other partners were particularly engaging. We delved into the development and testing of our next-generation battery systems. I was part of a fascinating discussion on the challenges of scaling up prototypes for commercial production, with inputs from various experts sparking new ideas and solutions.

Swedish FIKA

Of course, we took time to enjoy a traditional Swedish FIKA with coffee and kanelbullar. This break was more than just a refreshment; it was an opportunity for informal discussions that often lead to innovative ideas. I had a particularly insightful conversation with a colleague from BSC CNS about integrating advanced cooling systems into our designs.

Visit to SEEL Lab

The afternoon was dedicated to a visit to the SEEL lab, with seamless transportation organized by RISE. This visit was particularly enlightening, showcasing advanced research and testing facilities. Seeing the cutting-edge equipment and witnessing live demonstrations of their testing procedures gave us all a deeper appreciation of the complexities involved in battery technology research.

Great Results and a Fun Visit

The two-day meeting was a perfect blend of productive sessions, collaborative exploration, and enjoyable experiences. It reinforced our commitment to developing the safest and most sustainable battery systems. The exchange of ideas, feedback, and strategies will undoubtedly propel us further towards achieving our goals.

A special thank you to RISE for their impeccable organization and hospitality, and to all our partners for their active participation and invaluable contributions. This meeting not only strengthened our professional collaborations but also fostered a sense of community and shared purpose.

Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to drive innovation and sustainability in the battery technology sector!

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