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October 22, 2012

Volkswagen and BASF present the first Science Award Electrochemistry

Gerald Ondrey

The first international “Science Award Electrochemistry” from BASF SE (Ludwigshafen; and Volkswagen AG (Wolfburg; both Germany; goes to Dr.Naoaki Yabuuchi, Tokyo University of Science, Institute for Science and Technology (Tokyo, Japan). The jury of experts from BASF, Volkswagen and representatives from the world of science selected Yabuuchi for the outstanding results of his research on different battery technologies. Yabuuchi showed among other things how new battery materials can improve the efficiency of lithium-ion and sodium-ion batteries — a fundamentally new battery concept, which is currently a focus of research.

The International Science Award for Electrochemistry aims to stimulate research in electrochemistry worldwide in order to advance electric mobility.

The “Science Award Electrochemistry” aims to promote outstanding scientific and engineering achievements and provide an incentive for the development of high-performance energy stores. The award is endowed with prize money of €50,000.

New, efficient drive concepts like electromobility that are based on regenerative energies require innovative energy stores. “Comprehensive specialized knowledge in electrochemistry constitutes the basis for these new storage systems and hence for a supply of regenerative energy that is both climate friendly and preserves resources,” said Hans Dieter Pötsch, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG at the award ceremony in Wolfsburg. Electromobility has considerable importance to Volkswagen. “The further development of high-performance yet affordable batteries is indispensable in order to boost the driving range and thus the appeal of electric vehicles. We have set ourselves the ambitious goal of ensuring that Volkswagen battery systems will facilitate reliable day-to-day operations and last for an entire automotive life span,” said Pötsch.

Reliable battery systems are based on high-performance materials and components. “A battery is a chemical power plant in which all the materials have to be optimally matched to each other,” said Dr. Kurt Bock, chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE. As the world's largest automotive supplier in the chemical industry, BASF is working intensively to develop innovative electrolytes and cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries and future battery technologies. The company is making a key contribution to developing affordable and sustainable electric automobiles. “Our high-performance battery materials will allow a greater driving range with reduced weight and lower costs,” said Bock. The success of electromobility depends on high-performance batteries. The basis for this is top-class research in electrochemistry. “The science award designed by BASF and Volkswagen encourages highly qualified scientists from all over the world to develop and explore new future-oriented battery technologies faster,” said Bock.

The Science Award Electrochemistry ( will be presented annually and targets top scientists in the global academic research community. This is the first time that a science award is being presented jointly by two companies on a cross-sectoral basis. The prize money is intended as start-up funding for further research activities and is to be used for laboratory equipment, scientific events or to fund highly qualified employees.



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