CIC energiGUNE consolidated its position as a European reference centre in energy storage in 2023

Álava, News

The Basque centre has obtained a 100% success rate in the latest call for “Knowledge Generation Projects” of the State Research Agency, and has exceeded the 50% success rate in the European research framework, attracting 12 Basque companies.

CIC energiGUNE, which was recognised by the SCImago ranking as the most important research foundation in Europe and Latin America in the field of energy, is present in the main European initiatives in the field of batteries, such as Batteries Europe and Battery 2030+.

CIC energiGUNE, a leading Basque research centre in electrochemical energy storage, thermal energy storage and conversion and hydrogen technologies, has closed the year 2023 as one of the main agents of reference in research and technology transfer in the field of energy storage, thanks to new regional and European research projects, as well as more than 40 industrial collaborations with large-scale companies and strategic partners.

In this way, CIC energiGUNE has continued its commitment both to cutting-edge research in the field of energy storage and to the generation of technological assets transferable to the business environment. An example of this is its spin-off ecosystem, made up of BASQUEVOLT and BCARE, which last year were highlighted and included by ICEX among the main ‘cleantech’ start-ups in the field of energy.

“We are aware that the achievements derived from the centre’s activity are of the utmost importance, and the figures achieved this year make us optimistic and proud. All this, without losing sight of our true objective: to contribute to improving the competitiveness of industry in the Basque Country and Europe by generating disruptive science and high-level technological solutions”, said Nuria Gisbert, director general of CIC energiGUNE.

In this sense, in 2023 the centre has once again received recognition from the world’s main rankings both for its joint activity – the SCImago ranking places it as the most important research foundation in Europe and Latin America in Energy – and for the work of its team of researchers. It is worth highlighting the presence of Michel Armand, honorary scientific director of the electrochemistry area of CIC energiGUNE, as the most important researcher in Spain in the field of Energy according to the “Ranking of World Scientists” of Stanford University and the Elsevier publishing house.

Likewise, during 2023 the Basque centre has positioned itself as a reference agent within the European battery ecosystem. Thus, at the beginning of the year, it brought together in Vitoria-Gasteiz the main leaders of the sector around “BatSum23”, the European conference on batteries that highlighted the development of “European proprietary technology”, of which the Basque Country is an example through the aforementioned BASQUEVOLT.

CIC energiGUNE has also been a key player in defining the ecosystem of the future of batteries, notably by participating in the creation of the two key “roadmaps” of Batteries Europe and Battery 2030+, essential tools for defining the European battery value chain. Likewise, it was one of the agents convened by ‘The International EPD System’, the leading certification body for Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) and the development of Product Category Rules (PCR), for the development of the new PCR for electrical and electronic equipment that will be applied and will determine the future of the battery industry.

High success rate in projects

One of the great achievements of CIC energiGUNE in 2023 has been the very high success rates in all calls for projects, both at Basque, national and European level. The 100% success rate in the call for “Knowledge Generation Projects” of the State Research Agency stands out in this respect. Similarly, the centre has achieved a 50% success rate in the European research framework, attracting 12 Basque companies.

In this sense, CIC energiGUNE has continued to play an important role in the development of European projects that are at different stages of development. At the beginning of the year, the centre hosted the launch meeting of the European MUSIC project, which is led from Vitoria-Gasteiz with the aim of promoting a new energy storage technology based on sodium, one of the materials of the moment. In May, the centre brought together industrial players and developers of materials and batteries in the capital of Alava to hold the final seminar of the HIGREEW project, which has already made it possible to install a prototype of an organic redox flow battery, installed at the Siemens Gamesa facilities in Zaragoza.

Other outstanding projects in which CIC energiGUNE is participating are HIPERZAB, which aims to develop the first electrically rechargeable zinc-air battery; or HELENA, which aims to develop solid-state batteries for electric aviation. Likewise, CIC energiGUNE’s work has enabled the FullProfAPP software to be completed in 2023, which will revolutionise materials research thanks to its capacity to analyse and analyse data in depth.

Recognition of the team

In terms of professional recognition, in addition to Michel Armand, honorary scientific director of the electrochemistry area at CIC energiGUNE, once again being one of the World’s Most Cited Scientists according to Clarivate Analytics, the Stanford University ranking included five scientists from the Basque centre in the list of the world’s most influential researchers (Michel Armand, Elena Palomo, Montse Casas-Cabanas, Javier Carrasco, and Yaroslav Grosu).

In addition, Elena Palomo del Barrio was recognised with the BRTA (Basque Research and Technology Alliance) “Lifetime Achievement Award”; the scientist María Arnaiz received the “POLiS Award for Excellence for Women Researchers” in Germany, and Sara Ortiz Astiz, CIC energiGUNE’s financial and strategy director, was awarded the AMPEA “Female Talent Award”.

CIC energiGUNE currently employs around 200 professionals.

Research work and social commitment

During the past year, CIC energiGUNE has registered more than a hundred publications, with a Q1 ratio (high impact publications) of more than 95% of the total. With regard to the number of patents filed, in 2023 the number of 39 active patent families was reached and an increase in citations of the CIC energiGUNE portfolio of 150% with respect to 2022, with relevant companies such as Apple, Samsung, LG or Harvard University among those that have echoed them.

As part of its commitment to people and career development, last year CIC energiGUNE carried out new mentoring processes for doctoral students, coaching for high-performance teams, training and support plans, consolidating its role as an active agent in this field, which has been recognised for more than four years now by the European Commission for its excellence in attracting and nurturing talent.

Finally, in 2023, a complete digitisation process of activities and resources was launched, in line with the lines of action set out in its Strategic Plan.


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