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Ohio State Announces its New Facility for Battery Research

Image: Ohio State University

The Ohio State University is set to open a new research and development center for battery cells in Ohio shortly, which is expected to boost domestic production of battery-cell materials and manufacturing methods. 

Columbus University, together with Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, legislative leaders, and representatives from American Honda Motor Company, Schaeffler Americas, and JobsOhio, unveiled the 25,000-square-foot private-public facility on Monday. The planned opening date is April 2025.

“We have more reach and impact when we work with our partners at the local, state and federal levels and we join industry-leading partners like Honda and Schaeffler,” said Peter Mohler, acting President and Executive Vice President for Research, Innovation and Knowledge at Ohio State.

As per the university’s statement, the Institute for Materials and Manufacturing Research at Ohio State will oversee and run the center, which has received commitments totaling $22 million thus far.

Honda has contributed $15 million for the research and development center and will be the project’s primary foundational partner.

“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. “This facility will be a great resource to train the next-generation workforce in advanced manufacturing technologies.”

When the project is finished, a hub for relationships between academia and business in the fields of engineering, business, policy, and the chemical and physical sciences will be established. The project will also draw supply chain and electric car battery manufacturing companies to support the industry’s changing vision, as well as provide a solid pipeline of talent for the sector.

“Ohio business leaders are celebrating today’s announcement and this public-private partnership that will help position Ohio to remain the center of automobile innovation,” Ohio Manufacturers’ Association President Ryan Augsburger said. “The creation of this facility will not only advance Ohio’s economy, it will turbocharge our workforce development to prepare Ohioans to innovate new products and manufacturing processes that will enhance our EV, aerospace and electronics industries.” Husted agreed.

“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.”

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, who also was in attendance at the announcement, said, “We know how to make cars in Ohio. The auto industry is our past, and our future. The next generation of vehicles that families will drive all over the country and all over the world will be made in Ohio, by Ohio workers. … This is how we are burying the term ‘Rust Belt.’”

Federal funding will support a 4,000-square-foot dry room, necessary for the assembly of battery cells due to the extreme moisture sensitivity of cell components.

Thus, a 4,000-square-foot dry room, which is required for the manufacturing of battery cells since the components of the cells are extremely sensitive to moisture, will be funded by the federal government.

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