Umicore today inaugurated its new global R&D center for cathode materials in Cheonan, Korea. The new center marks another important step as Umicore’s rechargeable battery materials activity prepares for further growth and is strengthening its long-term top-notch technology position.*
The new center went into full operation early April and gives its customers access to the highest quality R&D services with industry-leading efficiency in order to meet the constantly evolving cathode requirements for automotive, energy storage system (ESS) and portable electronics applications. Product research will continue to focus on next-generation battery materials, including very high-nickel NMC, low cobalt NMC, manganese-rich chemistries as well as solid-state battery materials technology. The center also houses a new large battery cell laboratory with extensive testing capabilities.
The 30,000 m2 building complex with top-grade equipment is situated next to Umicore’s existing R&D center and cathode materials production plants in Cheonan and can accommodate future growth of the R&D activities. Umicore currently employs more than 160 engineers and scientists in the center and employment is expected to grow close to 300 people in 2024.
“Umicore’s new R&D center in Korea builds on our leadership in technology and provides even faster and more efficient product research. This will enable us to continue to develop cathode materials that exceed customer expectations in terms of quality, reliability, safety and innovation. Thanks to our teams’ in-depth battery chemistry knowledge, we can support the accelerating move towards cleaner mobility worldwide.”
Ralph Kiessling, Executive Vice-President Energy & Surface Technologies
* In order to pursue its battery process and product technology leadership, Umicore currently operates R&D centers for battery materials in Cheonan (Korea), Olen (Belgium) and Kokkola (Finland).