Electrochemical energy storage is a key technology of the 21st century. In 2018, the Center for Electrochemical Energy Storage Ulm & Karlsruhe (CELEST), one of the most ambitious research platforms in this area worldwide, has started operation. It combines application-oriented basic research with close-to-practice development and innovative production technologies. CELEST pools the know-how of 29 institutes of its partner institutions: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Ulm University, and the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW).

CELEST is aiming at enhancing communication and cooperation among the scientists involved and will pave the way for new, interdisciplinary collaborations. CELEST coordinates joint activities with other universities and research institutions as well as with industry in Germany and abroad.

“Scientists in Ulm and Karlsruhe have complementary expertise extending from basic research on elementary processes at the atomic scale to multi-scale modeling of relevant processes over development of new storage materials and laboratory cells up to the largest pilot plant for battery cell manufacture in Europe at the ZSW,” says Professor Maximilian Fichtner, Vice-Director of the Helmholtz Institute Ulm, who was elected scientific spokesperson of CELEST. CELEST covers the research areas of “Lithium-ion technology,” “Energy storage beyond lithium,” and “Alternative technologies for electrochemical energy storage,” i.e. all highly relevant topics in the area of electrochemical energy storage.

Another focus lies on collaboration with industry partners for technology transfer, innovation, and commercialization of new technologies. A high priority of CELEST is the education of young scientists. For this reason, the Graduate School Electrochemical Energy Storage GS-EES will be established during summer semester 2019. A comprehensive and interdisciplinary curriculum will establish the education of future electrochemical energy storage expert.

The scientific members of CELEST during the first general assembly of the center July 2018.

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