LG Chem`s electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant.
For a headstart in the global race over battery supremacy in an age where rechargeables are essential to transmit clean and renewable power, South Korea’s majors LG Chem, Samsung SDI and SK Innovation formed alliance to explore rechargeable development beyond lithium ion starting with a fund of 100 billion won ($88.3 million).
The three makers commanding around 10 percent of the global battery market launched a joint project under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Monday.
They signed a memorandum of understanding on establishing a fund worth 100 billion won by the first quarter of next year for the research and development of next-generation battery technologies.
The new fund aims to develop core technologies for next-generation batteries and incubate promising startups and small- and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs). Newly developed technologies will quickly be commercialized in partnerships under management of an advisory committee, according to the companies.
“Under the partnership, the three battery makers will be able to effectively cooperate in expediting the resolution of patent challenges from foreign companies. The ministry will also help battery makers keep up investment in the domestic market,” said Sung Yun-mo, the industry minister.
Battery technology is a key to power the planet in universal push to wean away from environmentally damaging fossil fuel. Li-ion batteries commonly used to power cellphones and electric vehicles are limited in electric-charge capacity and volatile due to its dependence on lithium sources. Companies and scientists have been vying to come up with more affordable, more scalable and reliable electrochemical solutions.
By Lim Sung-hyun and Lee Ha-yeon
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