State secretary learns about battery cell production at Fraunhofer FFB
Münster. During her visit to the Fraunhofer Research Fabrication Battery Cell FFB facility on July 12, 2023, NRW State Secretary Silke Krebs and Institute Director Prof. Dr. Simon Lux talked about research into the development and production of economically and ecologically sustainable battery cells at the Münster site. The appointment focused on a tour of the construction progress in the »FFB PreFab«, the first building of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.
The aim of the Fraunhofer FFB is to accelerate the innovation and commercialization process of production technologies for existing and future battery cell formats. The focus is on gaining experience in the operation of large-scale research manufacturing in order to expand competencies and close gaps in this field. State Secretary Silke Krebs, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy (MWIKE) of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia informed herself about the progress made on the 6,450 square meters of research space. With the installation of the user facilities, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is gradually starting research operations. In the building, the "FFB PreFab", a sample line for complete battery cell production on a smaller scale is being set up, representing an important intermediate step on the way to industrial scale.
State Secretary Silke Krebs: "The establishment of the Fraunhofer FFB, which is cooperating closely with research partners at the University of Münster, RWTH Aachen University and other scientific institutions, is creating an internationally respected battery hotspot in North Rhine-Westphalia. Companies from many industries and countries are already interested in the research work on electronic storage technologies 'made in NRW'. This is a good thing, because one of the main goals we are pursuing together with the federal government with the Fraunhofer FFB is to establish our own German or European battery cell production. Currently, around 70 percent of the cells used in Germany come from the Far East. This should change in the medium term."
The "ELLB - European Battery Cell Learning Laboratory of Fraunhofer FFB" was also discussed during the meeting. Group leader Michael Wessels presented the future challenges for the European battery market. The rapid upscaling of battery cell production in Europe offers numerous growth opportunities, but also leads to large qualification gaps: By 2030, several hundred thousand battery experts will be needed along the entire value chain. Fraunhofer FFB offers suitable training and further education opportunities for specialists and managers in this area.
100 Fraunhofer employees are already working in Münster on the battery production of the future - when the FFB is completed, there will be 150 to 200. Together with MEET (Münster Electrochemical Energy Technology) at the University of Münster and other research partners in Aachen, Jülich and throughout Germany, a battery center is being developed in Münster that will attract attention throughout Europe.
The entire Fraunhofer FFB construction project is being realized by the state-owned development company NRW.URBAN, which has assumed the role of developer on behalf of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.