Thuringia's Battery Innovation and Technology Centre (BITC) has started operations in Germany with funding of EUR13.5m (US$15.4m) from the Free State.

As a new site of the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS, the BITC is linked to one of the largest battery research institutes in Germany.

During the next five years, the State of Thuringia is supporting the development of the centre into a European flagship for energy-efficient and resource-saving battery production.

The State Development Corporation of Thuringia (LEG) has acquired the building complex with around 5000 m² of office and technical space for use by Fraunhofer IKTS.

The BITC will develop solutions for the integrated, digitally supported production and quality assurance of battery cells and modules. Ceramic materials, sensor technology and non-destructive testing methods will be used.

In the production of battery cells and battery modules, scaling, that is the production of components in quantities in excess of millions of units while maintaining consistently high quality, is a major challenge. Researchers at BITC will simulate technology chains on partial pilot lines approaching industrial scale and establish new, data-driven approaches for process monitoring and control.

"This production research is of enormous importance for the development of new industrial capacities in Thuringia and especially in Eastern Germany," said Thuringian Minister of Economy and Science, Wolfgang Tiefensee.

The research centre is a factor in developing Thuringia into a leading battery location in the coming years. The BITC's position at the growing Erfurter Kreuz commercial area will also intensify existing collaboration with CATL.

The Li-ion battery company will build its first European plant in Arnstadt by 2022.