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Cooperation, education, regulation – key for future battery market in CEE

More cooperation, less competition, tailored education and more effective regulation are key to the future success of the electromobility sector in Central and Eastern Europe, according to experts from the region and beyond.

During this year’s New Mobility Congress in Poland, experts discussed the importance of human resources, new technologies and innovation in the emerging development of the EVs and battery markets in CEE and Europe.

Overall, most of the participants of the panel discussion agreed that competition should not drive the industry’s future shape: on the contrary, extensive cooperation is essential in order to accelerate Europe’s competitiveness in the area of battery production.

“Cooperation, cooperation and networking,” said Dr Ewa Łabno-Falęcka, Director of Communication and External Relations at Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Polska.

Also, Grzegorz Ombach, Head of Disruptive R&T and Senior Vice President of Airbus highlighted the significant extent of the future battery market in which cooperation is paramount to efficiently utilise the size of the future market.

Education was another key area which was identified as central for shaping CEE as a regional battery production leader.

Albeit Poland’s attractive know-how to position Europe as a global battery producer, Dr Ewa Łabno-Falęcka highlighted a lack of funding for skilled workers and technical workers within this field. Additionally, she added that there is great flexibility to up-skill or re-skill employees, however, entrepreneurs are more likely to hire new employees than invest in educating existing employees.

Adding to the discussion, Dr hab Joanna Kulczycka from the AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow noted that “stronger cooperation” is needed between academia and industry in order to offer a tailored curriculum for the new battery industry.

Indeed, despite the fact that the scale of production in the automotive sector will not return to pre-COVID levels until at least 2030, the value of the software installed in new vehicles in the next years is expected to rise by 11 per cent annually which will, in turn, increase the demand for programmers and developers. Human resources that, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group and the Polish Alternative Fuels Association, could fill the 6,000 new jobs which will be created by the transformation of the sustainable transport industry.

From a broader angle, Peter Ma, Board Member of Capchem, a major player in the lithium-ion battery value chain, underlined a shift in the global supply chains that will be shaped by the lithium-ion battery revolution. Here, Mr Ma urged for a greater understanding of this link as Europe seeks to mould a long-term strategy in this area.

Throughout the discussions, most panellists agreed and emphasised the need for better regulation, both on the national and EU level, and to encourage cooperation and education to drive a successful acceleration of battery production in Europe and the CEE region.

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