University of Limerick launches new battery development facility

The new facility, co-funded by SFI and SEAI, will create materials for the development of more sustainable and energy-efficient batteries.

The University of Limerick (UL) has today (8 July) announced the launch of the National Rechargeable Battery Fabrication and Test Facility, or Ampeire, at an event at the UL Bernal Institute.

The facility will create the materials for more sustainable, energy efficient batteries to be used in technologies from implantable medical devices to electric vehicles.

Co-funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), the new facility will give Irish researchers more opportunities to lead and partner on key European projects focused on batteries, according to Prof Kevin M Ryan, director of the Bernal Institute and lead investigator at Ampeire.

The press release states that by combining electrode fabrication, cell assembly, testing and materials characterisation all in one place, researchers can identify the gap in national resources, as well as increase Ireland’s ability to compete internationally.

According to UL, the research and development of lithium-ion batteries is a critical challenge, as demand grows for increasingly more powerful mobile devices with longer range and higher-performance capabilities, as well as faster charging on electric vehicles.

Kerrie Sheehan, the head of research and technology at SEAI welcomed the announcement, stating that rechargeable battery technology is “vital” in advancing renewable energy and reducing waste and emissions.

“The research carried out will contribute to the transformation of Ireland into a society based on sustainable energy structures, technologies and practices,” said Sheehan. 

Deputy director general of SFI Dr Ciarán Seoighe also acknowledged the relationship between advances in battery tech and sustainability, stating that the tech will be “critical” in supporting the green transition. 

“[The launch of the facility] will help spearhead pioneering research in next-generation batteries, creating transformative collaborations and making Ireland an attractive location for the recruitment of world-leading scientists and engineers,” said Seoighe. 

Silicon Republic recently spoke with UL’s Dr Valeria Nico about the importance of energy harvesting for scientific advancement and a more sustainable planet.

Find out how emerging tech trends are transforming tomorrow with our new podcast, Future Human: The Series. Listen now on Spotify, on Apple or wherever you get your podcasts. 

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