The Ohio State University was joined by Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, congressional leaders, Honda, Schaeffler Americas and JobsOhio officials Monday to announce the creation of a new battery cell research and development center. Slated to open in April 2025, the lab will accelerate the domestic development of battery cell materials and manufacturing technologies while providing an experiential learning setting for advanced battery technology workforce development.
With $22 million in commitments to date, this project will include the renovation of a 25,000-square-foot facility in Ohio State’s innovation district into a dedicated battery cell research, production and education support space. The Institute for Materials and Manufacturing Research (IMR) will manage and operate the center will at Ohio State.
Honda will serve as lead foundational partner for the project and has committed $15 million for the research and development center.
Commitment to Batteries
“Honda is committed to an electrified future for our automobiles, motorcycles and power products worldwide,” said Bob Nelson, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “We have had a long-standing relationship with Ohio State that goes back more than 30 years, and this new facility is an extension of that great partnership. This facility will be a great resource to train the next-generation workforce in advanced manufacturing technologies.
The completed project will also create a hub for academic and industry connections across chemical and physical sciences, engineering, business and policy. Once completed, the project will create a strong pipeline of industry talent while also attracting electric vehicle battery manufacturing and supply chain businesses to help support the evolving vision for the industry.
“When presented with an opportunity to take the lead in battery innovation, particularly with reputable Ohio employers such as Honda and Schaeffler, it is wise to capitalize on that potential,” said Husted. “Establishing this battery technologies innovation center on Ohio State’s campus will play a key role in ensuring that we continue to be pioneers in automotive and sustainability advancements.”
Congressional champions for this project include U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and U.S. Reps. Joyce Beatty and Mike Carey, who all participated in today’s event. Through their work, the program secured $4.5 million in federal funding through the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Extramural Construction program.
“The announcement of Ohio State’s new battery research center is yet another step in the right direction of academic excellence,” Beatty said. “I’m proud to have helped secure federal funding to see this project into fruition and look forward to seeing this investment grow and flourish. This also continues to mark central Ohio as a pivotal workforce hub in America from the key technologies, economic impact, products, training and infrastructure this center will offer.”
The federal funding will support a 4,000-square-foot dry room, which is necessary for the assembly of battery cells due to the extreme moisture sensitivity of cell components. The dry room and new battery cell assembly equipment will facilitate the accelerated development and translation of batteries from the lab to practical scales, including the electric vehicle market.