Li-Bridge — From Aspiration to Collaboration
In June, the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries (FCAB) published the National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries, 2021–2030. We were pleased to see how many recommendations aligned with our strategy. In fact, we wrote a multi-part blog series looking at each mandate in the Blueprint and how our technology, production and business strategies align on each one from: novel cell design, scale-up and commercialization of new technologies and manufacturing techniques, to domestically sourced, high-density energy storage for national defense.
However, the FCAB National Blueprint is largely aspirational.
It states, “The U.S. industrial base must be positioned to respond to this vast increase in market demand that otherwise will likely benefit well-resourced and supported competitors in Asia and Europe.” But while it is intended to guide investments in the urgent development of a domestic lithium-battery manufacturing value chain, it doesn’t direct specific activities.
That appears to have changed last week.
On Wednesday, October 27, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory announced the creation of Li-Bridge, a new public-private alliance committed to accelerating the development of a robust and secure domestic supply chain for lithium-based batteries. According to the announcement, Li-Bridge is focused on bringing key stakeholders together to improve the lithium battery supply chain and marks the first collaboration of its kind in the U.S. battery industry. Argonne will serve as the facilitator between private industry and the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries.
Venkat Srinivasan, director of the Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science (ACCESS) and deputy director of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), stated, “Achieving the lofty targets of the National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries will require alignment between the federal government, private industry and research institutions working hand-in-hand to develop the batteries of the future, mass produce them, establish a resilient supply chain, and do this all at record speed.” He added, “While the U.S. has all the pieces to achieve these goals, they are fragmented. The Li-Bridge alliance will bring these pieces into a cohesive whole.”
Michael Berube, deputy assistant secretary for sustainable transportation at DOE, stated “This coordination between public and private entities across the nation is paramount to achieving our vision of establishing a battery materials and technology supply chain that supports long-term U.S. economic competitiveness.”
Private industry participation will be facilitated through an alliance with three U.S.-based convenor organizations: NAATBatt International, New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST) and New Energy Nexus. These organizations represent more than 600 industry stakeholders across the high-capacity battery ecosystem.
As members and collaborators with NAATBatt and New Energy Nexus, we are eager to determine how we move forward together. We think the creation of Li-Bridge is a strong next step in our shared quest to establish U.S. leadership in advanced lithium-ion battery development and production, and to help win the global battery arms race.