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Green Light for Helmholtz Institute Münster: New Impetus for Battery Research

Jülich, 23 October 2013 – Forschungszentrum Jülich, Münster University, and RWTH Aachen University are to consolidate cooperation in the area of battery research. To achieve this goal, they will establish a new Helmholtz Institute Münster Ionics in Energy Storage (HI MS) as a permanent branch office of Forschungszentrum Jülich. Forschungszentrum Jülich will support the project with funding of € 5.5 million per year, and the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) will invest a total of € 11 million in the new institute until 2018.

Green Light for Helmholtz Institute Münster: New Impetus for Battery ResearchFrom left to right: Dr. Hans Peter Buchkremer (Forschungszentrum Jülich), Prof. Dr. Dirk Uwe Sauer (RWTH Aachen University), Prof. Dr. Martin Winter (Münster University), Prof. Dr. Ursula Nelles (Rector of Münster University), Prof. Dr. Harald Bolt (Member of the Board of Directors of Forschungszentrum Jülich), Prof. Dr. Stefan Joos (Helmholtz Association)
Copyright: WWU/Stephanie Kaßing

A panel of international experts has rated the plans submitted by the partners for the new Helmholtz Institute Münster (HI MS) as 'scientifically excellent'. The evaluation was the final step remaining in the approval process after the Senate of the Helmholtz Association had given the go-ahead. Preparations are now getting under way so that HI MS can go into operation in 2014.

The scientists at the new institute are planning to investigate new battery technologies, which are an important prerequisite for the successful transformation of the energy sector. In order to enable the development of such technologies, their research will focus on electrolytes, a key element of novel battery concepts. The expected results have the potential to accelerate the anticipated breakthrough of electromobility and simultaneously to mitigate the significant power fluctuations from renewables, thus making the supply from these sources more reliable.

With its involvement in the new institute, Forschungszentrum Jülich will intensify its activities in the area of energy research and tie in with the research priorities of Münster University's battery research centre, Münster Electrochemical Energy Technology (MEET). The cooperation between Forschungszentrum Jülich and the universities of Münster and Aachen will comprise research projects as well as joint appointments and an exchange of employees and students.

Comments on the new Helmholtz Institute Münster:

Svenja Schulze, Minister of Innovation, Science and Research of the State of NRW: "This decision testifies to the fact that NRW is a leading location for energy research and Münster a city of science. Battery researchers at Aachen, Jülich, and Münster have been making important contributions to research into energy storage technologies for more than a decade."

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Harald Bolt, Member of the Board of Directors of Forschungszentrum Jülich: "New solutions for storage are one of the key requirements for transforming the energy system. With the Helmholtz Institute Münster, Jülich will continue to consolidate its competencies in this area, particularly in battery research, and contribute its expertise in materials research, system integration, and system analysis."

Prof. Dr. Ursula Nelles, Rector of Münster University: "What Münster University will contribute to this new partnership is top-level research provided by the scientists from the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy and above all the battery research centre MEET. I am confident that the Helmholtz Institute Münster will provide new impetus to the fields of energy storage and electromobility."

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mlynek, President of the Helmholtz Association: "With the help of the Helmholtz Institute for Ionics in Energy Storage, universities and non-university research institutions will now be able to pool their expertise in order to perform research in the highly important field of secure and affordable energy supply."

About the Helmholtz institutes:

The Helmholtz Institute Münster Ionics in Energy Storage (HI MS) is the seventh Helmholtz institute. These novel research institutes are established to intensify strategic partnerships between Helmholtz Centres and universities and form the basis for long-term close cooperation in specific research fields. Helmholtz institutes receive institutional funding of € 3–5 million per year and appoint their professors jointly with a partner university. By creating research networks with relevant regional and national partners, the Helmholtz institutes serve as focal points in their area of scientific expertise.


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Harald Bolt, Member of the Board of Directors of Forschungszentrum Jülich
Tel: +49 2461 61-1808

Press contact:

Tobias Schlößer
Tel: +49 2461 61-4771