Finland strongly involved in new EU scheme for sustainable and innovative battery industry
On 26 January 2021, the European Commission approved public support of EUR 2.9 billion proposed by 12 Member States to fund research and innovation projects in the battery sector. This public support is expected to generate private investments of EUR 9 billion. Finland will participate in the project and fund companies in the sector.
“I am pleased that Finnish companies are actively involved in building a European battery industry. Batteries can grow into a significant business for us, as the recently published National Battery Strategy shows,” says Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.
The amount of aid allocated by the Member States to companies will be published once the Commission has discussed any possible business secrets with the Member States and companies. The Commission’s decision is based on the second IPCEI Communication in the battery sector, which is part of the EU State aid rules. IPCEI is an abbreviation for Important Project of Common European Interest.
Three companies in Finland to receive funding
The second IPCEI package in the battery sector includes three Finnish companies: Fortum, Keliber and Valmet Automotive. The IPCEI package in the battery sector is divided into four segments. Fortum, Keliber and Valmet Automotive all participate in the segment Recycling and sustainability. In addition, Valmet Automotive is involved in the Battery systems segment and Keliber in the Raw and advanced materials segment.
In Finland, the final funding decisions will be made by Business Finland in 2021. Individual investments have their own schedules. The entire IPCEI project is due to be completed in 2028.
The support now approved by the Commission will be allocated to 42 participants from 12 Member States. Several small and medium-sized enterprises are involved in the project and some of the participants have operations in more than one Member State.
EU strives for strong European battery industry
The public support approved for the research and innovation project in the battery sector is part of the EU’s efforts to build a sustainable, innovative and competitive business network for the sector in Europe. At the end of 2017, the Commission launched the European Battery Alliance and adopted a Strategic Action Plan for Batteries in May 2018.
Finland is also striving for a leading role in the battery sector. The new National Battery Strategy presents the means by which Finland will become a competitive, competent and sustainable player in the international battery industry.
The EU adopted the State aid rules for IPCEI projects in 2014. In order for the project to be eligible for support, it must, among other things, promote the EU’s strategic objectives, involve several Member States and private funding, and be very ambitious as regards research and innovation. The negative effects of the aid on competition must also be limited.
Finland was also part of the first IPCEI in the battery sector, which was approved by the Commission in December 2019. At that time, four companies operating in Finland applied for public funding – BASF, Fortum, Keliber and Terrafame.
Jyrki Alkio, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 103
Markku Kivistö, Head of Industry, Cleantech and Invest In Finland, Business Finland, tel. +358 295 055 000