The German state of Baden-Württemberg’s Ministry of Finance and Economics approved of the new building of the Materials Science Center for Energy Systems at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The building’s costs of 27.4 million Euro will be shared equally between the Federal Republic of Germany and the state. The funds have been granted under a competition launched by the State Ministry of Science, Research, and the Arts to promote innovative future technologies in the state. The Materials Science Center for Energy Systems (MZE) will focus in particular on materials for future energy supply. Particular attention will be paid to rechargeable battery systems and printed solar cells.
“Development of the next-generation energy system is a central concern of KIT’s research. Many problems associated with the transformation of the energy system will only be solved by materials sciences,” KIT President Professor Eberhard Umbach says. “That is why we gratefully acknowledge support by the state and the federation for the establishment of the Materials Science Center for Energy Systems at KIT.”
“At the MZE, we want to study the complete process chain from the molecule to the component,” says MZE coordinator Professor Michael Hoffmann. MZE research will focus on printed organic solar cells and batteries of high energy density based on nanostructured materials. Chemists, physicists, materials researchers, and process engineers will cooperate not only to develop new materials. They will also design appropriate processes to produce these materials efficiently on a large scale and use them in energy systems. All in all, 17 chairs from five KIT departments will be involved in the MZE research activities.
The total costs in the amount of EUR 27.4 million will be financed at an equal ratio from state funds under the Zukunftsoffensive IV program and from federal supraregional funds to promote research. The building will have a usable area of about 4500 square meters and accommodate research groups, laboratories, office rooms. It will be built on the state-owned area behind the Audimax on KIT Campus South. Construction will be completed in 2015.
Two other materials science centers will be built on the premises of the universities of Heidelberg and Freiburg.