SafeREnergy sets its sights on next generation of safe battery storage

ARC CEO Judi Zielke, Senator Jess Walsh, Deakin University Vice-Chancellor Research Prof. Julie Owens and SafeREnergy Hub director Prof. Ying (Ian) Chen at the offical launch of SafeREnergy.

Recycled and natural materials will be key in the development of a new generation of safer and reliable energy storage and conversion technologies at the SafeREnergy Hub.

SafeREnergy, an Australian Research Council (ARC) supported initiative, is a collaboration between six Australian universities, led by Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials.

SafeREnergy Hub Director Prof. Ying (Ian) Chen, LiS-Energy Chief Technology Officer Steve Rowlands and IFM Director Prof. Sally McArthur at the official SafeREnergy launch.

Across the five-year program, the hub’s world-class researchers will collaborate with Australian and international energy companies, to develop new, safer and reliable technology solutions for real-world challenges.

In officially launching the SafeREnergy Hub, ARC Chief Executive Officer Judi Zielke said its research would produce a range of new energy storage technology, from small-scale portable devices to large-scale industrial applications.

‘The hub’s research will deliver a new generation of technologies for energy storage using recycled and natural materials and eliminating the serious fire risk in current lithium-ion technologies,’ Ms Zielke said.

The ARC is investing $5 million over five years to the SafeREnergy Hub, under its Industrial Transformation Research Program. The hub also received $4.9 million in cash contributions, and $5.6 million of in-kind support from other participating organisations.

The other universities that make up the hub are University of Queensland, University of Wollongong, University of Sydney, University of Adelaide, and University of Southern Queensland.

SafeREnergy Hub Director, Alfred Deakin Professor Ying (Ian) Chen said the hub’s particular focus was on the safety of batteries, which had posed significant challenges in recent years.

‘The safety of current batteries is a major issue… we want to tackle this issue through our research,’ Prof. Chen said at the hub’s launch.

‘We’re developing solid state batteries, water-based safer electrolytes, and zinc aluminium batteries. All different fundamental research projects to try to solve this problem.  However, we need help from our industry partners.’

To collaborate with SafeREnergy Hub or for more information, visit