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Battery researchers at UiA awarded 8.5 million from EU programme

Associate Professor Martin Choux at the University of Agder will lead a four-year research project on battery recycling with support from Horizon Europe.

Photo of Martin Choux and battery
Associate Professor Martin Choux develops an automatic system controlled by artificial intelligence to disassemble electric batteries. Now he and other battery researchers at UiA have been funded by the EU's Horizon Europe programme for even more on battery research. (Stock photo, UiA.)

“The award is a recognition of our research environment and the research we have conducted on battery recycling over the past four years”, says Associate Professor Martin Choux at UiA's Department of Engineering Sciences.

In addition to Choux, the research group so far consists of Researcher Bernhard Fäßler and Associate Professor Ilya Tyapin. They also work at UiA’s Department of Engineering Sciences.

Horizon Europe is the EU’s new framework programme for research and innovation for the period 2021-2027. It is the world’s largest programme of its kind.

The RHINOCEROS research project receives EU funding after applying to the call HORIZON-CL5-2021-D2-01-06: Sustainable, safe and efficient recycling processes (Batteries Partnership).

The research cooperation will be led by the research institution Tecnalia (Spain) and consists of a total of 16 research institutions, of which UiA is the only Norwegian partner. The project will receive a total of NOK 91 million from the EU, of which NOK 8.5 million will go to UiA.

Aiming for EU funding

The research community at the department has been working purposefully towards securing EU funding. The researchers have participated in European research networks and taken part in events and discussions in Brussels, among other things.

"This grant means that our battery research community can continue to grow and be an attractive partner for regional, national and international players in the field of battery research and for our students”, Choux says.

Earlier this year, the battery research community at UiA was awarded NOK 4.4 million through the Norwegian Research Council’s research infrastructure initiative

Builds on UiA’s previous research

Choux expects that administrative details will be in place by March. And he thinks the research project will be launched in May.

Choux says that the new research project will build on research that has already been carried out or is underway at UiA. He refers to the LIBRES project on battery recycling (coordinated by Norsk Hydro 2018-2022), and the new Elag project on smart sorting and disassembly of used electric vehicle batteries that started last autumn.

“The new project will make use of artificial intelligence and industrial robots. We aim to build new battery systems out of the used batteries, or to put the disassembled battery parts into a recycling process where all materials are recycled”, Choux says.