It’s official – WA wins Australia’s new $53m battery metals research centre
The federal government has named Western Australia as host of a new $53m battery industry research centre.
The Future Batteries Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBI CRC) will provide industry-led research capability to grow Australia’s competitiveness and contribution in the global battery industries value chain.
The centre will receive cash commitments of $25m from the federal government and $28m from industry, including a $6m contribution from the state government. It will also receive in kind support worth $82m by way of staff, equipment, facilities, services from industry, government and research partners, which takes the total commitment to $135m.
WA was shortlisted as a potential location for the FBI CRC in October last year.
The move has been welcomed by the state government and the mining industry.
Warren Pearce, CEO of industry advocate Association of Mining and Exploration Companies, said having the FBI CRC based in Perth was a big win for WA.
“To step further down the battery minerals value chain, Australia needs greater research and development, today’s announcement provides the vehicle to do that.”
Mines minister Bill Johnston said WA was the obvious choice to host the FBI CRC, as the state had all the minerals it needed to make batteries and energy technologies, including nickel, lithium and cobalt.
“A CRC based in Perth will provide substantial economic benefits and help create new jobs in the growing battery metals and mining equipment, technology and services sectors,” he said.
WA premier Mark McGowan said diversifying the type of battery minerals extracted and processed in WA would enable the state to move up the battery value chain beyond mining and processing.
“The growth of the battery industry’s activities and the adoption of battery technologies in Western Australia will spur domestic investment in research and development,” he said.
“This will make the state more competitive and innovative in meeting the needs of the electric vehicle and energy storage markets.”