VERSAPRINT Sets Sail: Battery Innovation for Sustainable Transport

VERSAPRINT seeks to accelerate the transition to clean and sustainable transport and to promote the circular economy of batteries. This European Union-funded project will develop innovative solutions to increase battery safety and performance while decreasing cost and environmental impact. The automotive and aeronautics sectors will be the primary beneficiaries of these technologies; additional applications like waterborne or stationary storage sectors will also be explored during the project.

Who is behind VERSAPRINT?

The project is funded by the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), of the European Commission. The Agency plays a key role in supporting the EU Green Deal implementation and fosters efficient knowledge sharing and synergies between its different programmes.

Covering the entire battery value chain, experts from France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, and Italy are leading VERSAPRINT. The Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA), coordinates the project, with the participation of Leitat Acondicionamiento Tarrasense Associacion (LEITAT), Fev Europe GMBH (FEV), Centro Ricerche Fiat SCPA (CRF), Société Nationale De Construction Aerospatiale Sonaca SA (SON), Efesto (EFE), Avesta Battery & Energy Engineering (ABEE), Lomartov SL (LOM), Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH), and Plastic Omnium Clean Energy Systems Research (PO), each contributing their unique expertise to drive the project forward.

To ensure industry input, CEA will coordinate a large group of leading industries such as BMW, Airbus, Turkish Airlines, and ENEL, that will give technical, market, and regulatory advice to the project. This group will comprise at least 13 stakeholders including battery manufacturers, end-users, recycling companies, and specialists in battery manufacturing processes, and will play a crucial role in guiding the project’s direction and ensuring its relevance to real-world needs.

A technology that operates from the heart of the battery system

This three-year project of the Horizon Europe research programme aims to achieve significant innovations in the battery sector. By implementing 2D/3D printing technologies on cell and module components, it will offer versatile technical solutions, known as Building Blocks (BBs), that will address safety concerns, enhance performance, reduce costs, and minimise the environmental impact. As a key feature, these solutions will be adaptable to different cell formats (prismatic or pouch) independently of the battery chemistry. VERSAPRINT aims also to support decision-making for next-generation battery systems and explore replication opportunities in mobile and stationary applications.

A transformative progress in the battery technology

This project is closely aligned with Europe’s climate change objectives and the transition towards a climate-neutral society. With the transport sector accounting for a significant portion of CO2 emissions, battery innovation plays a crucial role in achieving sustainability targets. Furthermore, the World Economic Forum estimates a need to scale up global battery production by a factor of 19 to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. VERSAPRINT´S ambitious goals to improve battery manufacturability, performance, safety, and circular economy align perfectly with these imperatives.

VERSAPRINT project will capitalise on interdisciplinary collaboration and expertise from various domains. With a wide range of disciplines involved, including battery engineering, safety assessment, numerical modelling, material science, printing technologies, and more, VERSAPRINT will push the boundaries of battery system innovation. The project will also benefit from key technological transfers from sectors such as fuel cells, nuclear, defence, automotive, and aeronautics.

Céline Bonnaud, from the CEA and principal coordinator of VERSAPRINT, expresses excitement about the project’s kick-off. “We are delighted to be embarking on the VERSAPRINT project. Thanks to our multidisciplinary partnership and our cutting-edge technologies, we are convinced that this ambitious VERSAPRINT project will lead to decisive progress in the field of batteries. For once, we are totally focused on what surrounds the battery cells (thermal, electrical and safety management, etc.), which we call battery systems.  And it’s at the system design stage that we can concretely think about how to improve safety, performance, and durability to shape a more sustainable future for the transport sector and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

VERSAPRINT is a pioneering initiative that will redefine the battery landscape, driving sustainable transport and paving the way for a greener future. With its ambitious goals, multidisciplinary approach, and reputable consortium, the project sets sail on a transformative journey toward disrupting battery technology and shaping the transition to a climate-neutral Europe.