Portugal gains critical momentum in the industrial battery sector

The Portuguese industrial battery cluster is due to be launched in May, the first phase of which will bring together 20 companies and 30 institutions related to the sector

The aim is to unite the entire battery value chain (from mining to recycling and the manufacture of all the components) in a network of partnerships capable of competing on a global scale. At the forefront of this partnership is INL (International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory), which is heading the research with a view to new generations of batteries.

We are running “a few months late”, says Pedro Salomé. However, this leader in nanomanufacturing research at INL believes that the Portuguese Battery Cluster is the only way in which Portugal can create an industrial sector linked to the production of batteries that will give rise to a value chain and be capable of competing in the international market.

“Undertaking this project with just one national company – regardless of how big it is, is't viable, as it won't have enough weight to attract investment or interest”, says Pedro Salomé. The INL saw this opportunity a long time ago and has been working on bringing together partners from the fields of industry, research and funding in a process that has been underway since 2018. “The 2030 battery mobiliser project was our first move and has been the justification for us to go ahead with this industrial cluster”. This project, the foundation on which the battery cluster is based, has received 9 million euros in financing and has managed to bring together 23 partners, 14 of which are Portuguese companies, with the aim of promoting technologies related to batteries with a view to transforming them “into the key element in future urban electricity networks”, declares Pedro Salomé.

The 2030 battery project aims to install a range of equipment in the city of Braga to serve as a demonstrator of technologies for the generation, storage and management of energy that don't yet exist, by 2023. “This idea is to work on the micro-networks of the future, in which cities are the biggest consumers of most of the energy consumed in the world. And if the cities themselves manage to become involved in this management process and produce energy locally, this would have enormous economic, financial and environmental benefits, impact people's own independence and boost the resilience of the logistics networks at various levels”, concludes the researcher from the Iberian nanotechnology laboratory.


Pedro Salomé is in no doubt that batteries will become increasingly smarter and will be responsible for leveraging the decarbonisation process and shaping the future of energy. Nevertheless, he warns that we need to take various technologies into account, or in other words, we need to guide the research in several different directions, as “an electric battery for the automotive industry is one thing, while a stationary battery for a company is another. They have completely different requirements and functions”, meaning we are not only talking about lithium-ion batteries, with semi-liquid elements, but about new generations of batteries: “all industrial roadmaps point to solid-state batteries, in which everything is solid, being predominant”. These are 5th generation batteries, a pioneering area in which the INL intends to focus its super-microscopes and short-term research efforts.