Federal Govt commits $25m for future battery program

future battery FBICRC
Bill Johnston and Mark McGowan

Western Australia’s McGowan Government has welcomed the federal government’s decision to provide a $25 million funding boost to establish the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC) in Western Australia.

The FBICRC will provide industry-led research capability to grow Australia’s competitiveness and contribution in the global battery industries value chain.

Specifically, the State Government will provide $5.5 million, through the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia, and $500,000 from the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.

The FBICRC, which will be headquartered in Perth, recognises WA as a global leader in the production and export of future battery materials, technologies and expertise.

In addition to the CRC funding, State Governments and research partners will provide backing of $28 million cash and $82 million in kind.

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Premier Mark McGowan said Western Australia is emerging as an internationally attractive destination for downstream processing and manufacturing of lithium and other battery minerals.

“Diversifying the type of battery minerals extracted and processed in the State will enable Western Australia to move up the battery value chain beyond mining and processing,” Mr McGowan said.

“The growth of the battery industry’s activities and the adoption of battery technologies in Western Australia will spur domestic investment in research and development.

“This will make the State more competitive and innovative in meeting the needs of the electric vehicle and energy storage markets.”

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said Western Australia was the obvious choice to host the FBICRC, as the state has all the minerals you need to make batteries and energy technologies, including nickel, lithium and cobalt.

“A CRC based in Perth will provide substantial economic benefits and help create new jobs in the growing battery metals and mining equipment, technology and services sectors,” Mr Johnston said.

“The FBICRC bid process has demonstrated the close co-operation between the WA Government and industry, and recognises the opportunities the future battery industry presents for Australia.”

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