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Volkswagen and BASF launch annual €50K Science Award for Electrochemistry

Volkswagen and BASF launched an international initiative to promote advanced research in the field of electrochemistry. The Science Award for Electrochemistry is to promote outstanding accomplishments in science and engineering from which stimulation may be gained for the development of high-performance energy storage devices.

The Science Award will be offered annually; the prize money of €50,000 makes it one of the highest endowed science awards. For the first time, a pan-industry science award will be conferred jointly by two companies.

Only individuals, e. g. post-doctoral fellows, lecturers/assistant or junior professors aged below 40 years are eligible. Research groups are excluded. The application requires (1) an excellent Ph.D. thesis, habilitation or research contribution in the areas of chemistry, physics or engineering which has been graded “excellent” / “sehr gut” or equivalent and (2) a recommendation by the supervising professor or equivalent (e. g. head of research). Employees of the Initiators or their affiliates including employees’ relatives and members of Jury are not entitled to apply.

The candidates for the Science Award can apply at: www.science-award.com with the required documents. In addition, the prerequisites for participation, the procedure and the selection process are described there. The application period ends on 3 August 2012. The award ceremony will take place in Wolfsburg on October, 22nd 2012.

In their announcement, the two companies noted that electrochemical expertise constitutes an essential foundation for the development of future energy storage devices. Without these technologies, neither a supply with renewable energy nor future drive system concepts such as electric mobility will be possible. Energy storage devices do not have the service capacity at present that customers are used to in terms of energy supply and mobility. The prize money is intended as an initial funding for continuing research activities.

Volkswagen Group has been offering full hybrid vehicles such as the Volkswagen Touareg and the Audi Q5 since 2010. This year, the range will be augmented with the Volkswagen Jetta, the Audi A6 and A8. Likewise, the Audi R8 e-tron will be launched as a pure battery vehicle with a limited release still in 2012. The limited release of the XL1 as a plug-in hybrid is scheduled for 2013. The e-up! and Golf Blue-e-Motion will debut as pure battery vehicles next year. More plug-in hybrids by Audi and Volkswagen will follow in 2014.

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