Korea’s three largest battery manufacturers announce the creation of a 100 billion won fund (about €78M). SK Innovation, LG Chem and Samsung SDI thus aim to promote R&D of battery technologies and to support promising start-ups.
But that is not all. While the battery fund will take up its work early next year, the three cell making giants also expressed their willingness to cooperate more closely.
Together SK Innovation, LG Chem and Samsung SDI will sit in a planning committee tasked to set objectives for the next steps in battery technology. Moreover, they will jointly invest in research and development of such technologies.
Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Sung Yun-mo attended the meeting in Seoul and called the battery cell market “a new high-growth industry that will exceed that of memory semiconductors”. He added that the cell makers can expect active support for investment into new technologies by battery companies in Korea.
Such support and pooling of funds is in order given that the battery cell makers of Korea are losing market shares, mostly to Chinese competitors. SNE Research reported in summer this year, that both CATL and BYD were rising in the ranks. Back then they pinned their success to growing domestic demand in China. However, CATL in particular has scored large deals with European carmakers since, and is thus treading on extended “Korean” territory in Europe.