With a total prize purse of 50,000 euros ($63,664 U.S. at today's exchange rates), the award is intended to "promote outstanding accomplishments in science and engineering from which stimulation may be gained for the development of high-performance energy storage devices." That means, basically, better batteries for hybrids and other electric drive vehicles, ones that last a long time. VW's chairman of the board of management, Martin Winterkorn, said in a statement that, "We have set ourselves the ambitious goal of ensuring that Volkswagen battery systems will facilitate reliable day-to-day operations for 10 years, thus lasting for a normal automotive life span."
Interested applicants can submit applications through August 3rd, and the award ceremony will take place in Wolfsburg, Germany in October.
Outstanding researchers may apply on the Internet from today onward
The prize money adds up to 50,000 euros
The award ceremony will take place in Wolfsburg in October 2012
Wolfsburg/Ludwigshafen, 21 May 2012 - Volkswagen and BASF launch an international initiative today to promote advanced research in the field of electrochemistry. The "Science Award for Electrochemistry" is to promote outstanding accomplishments in science and engineering from which stimulation may be gained for the development of high-performance energy storage devices. The Science Award will be offered annually from now on, addressing outstanding scientists all over the world. The prize money of 50,000 euros makes it one of the highest endowed science awards. For the first time, a pan-industry science award will be conferred jointly by two companies.
The candidates for the Science Award can apply on the Internet platform at: www.science-award.com with the required documents. In addition, the prerequisites for participation, the procedure and the selection process are described there. The application period ends on 3 August 2012. The award ceremony will take place in Wolfsburg on October, 22nd 2012.
Electrochemical expertise constitutes an essential foundation for the development of future energy storage devices. Without these technologies, neither a supply with renewable energy, which is both friendly to the climate and preserves resources, nor future drive system concepts such as electric mobility will be possible. Energy storage devices do not have the service capacity at present that customers are used to in terms of energy supply and mobility. That's why BASF and Volkswagen want to motivate outstanding researchers with the Science Award to do more work with an even greater commitment in the field of electrochemistry and its applications. The prize money is intended as an initial funding for continuing research activities and shall be used, for instance, for research equipment, arranging for an academic conference or for scientific staff.
Volkswagen Group has been offering full hybrid vehicles such as the Volkswagen Touareg and the Audi Q5 since 2010. This year, the range will be augmented with the Volkswagen Jetta, the Audi A6 and A8. Likewise, the Audi R8 e-tron will be launched as a pure battery vehicle with a limited release still in 2012. The limited release of the XL1 as a plug-in hybrid is scheduled for 2013. Moreover, the e-up! and Golf Blue-e-Motion will debut as pure battery vehicles next year. More plug-in hybrids by Audi and Volkswagen will follow in 2014.
Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, states: "This science award is intended to motivate and carry forward innovative thinking.
Because the further development of high-performance batteries is indispensable in order to boost the driving range and thus the appeal of electric vehicles. We have set ourselves the ambitious goal of ensuring that Volkswagen battery systems will facilitate reliable day-to-day operations for 10 years, thus lasting for a normal automotive life span."
As the world's largest automotive supplier in the chemical industry, BASF is working intensively to develop innovative battery components such as cathode materials and electrolytes that allow the production of high-performance lithium-ion batteries. "Batteries are the key technology for the electromobility of the future. With the Science Award we are supporting highly qualified scientists around the world so that new future-capable battery technologies can be researched and developed even faster," explained Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE. The company is making a key contribution to developing affordable, eco-friendly and sustainable electric automobiles. "Our high-performance battery materials and other innovative functional components will allow a greater driving range with reduced weight and lower costs," said Bock.