A research facility will be built at the lab to coordinate the research of five Department of Energy national laboratories, five universities and four private companies previously working independently to advance battery technology, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.
The Joint Center for Energy Storage Research will be funded with $120 million from the Department of Energy and a $35 million commitment from the state of Illinois.
Research at the proposed center will be aimed at developing lighter, cheaper batteries that store more power and charge faster for use in high-tech application from smartphones to electric vehicles.
A successful battery research center in Illinois would persuade companies in the industry to come to the area and encourage scientists and engineers to stay in the Midwest, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said.
"We're going to be the center of the universe when it comes to charging batteries and storing energy," Quinn told the Tribune.
The center is intended to coordinate research and development of Department of Energy labs at Lawrence Berkeley, Pacific Northwest, Sandia and SLAC National Accelerator as well as students and scientists at Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Michigan.
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