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Volkswagen and BASF present the first “Science Award Electrochemistry” to Dr. Naoaki Yabuuchi, Tokyo University of Science


-Award honors outstanding research results for lithium-ion and sodium-ion batteries – prize money €50,000
-International “Science Award Electrochemistry” from Volkswagen and BASF to be presented annually

Wolfsburg/Ludwigshafen, Germany – – The first international “Science Award Electrochemistry” from BASF and Volkswagen goes to Dr. Naoaki Yabuuchi, Tokyo University of Science, Institute for Science and Technology, Tokyo, Japan. The jury of experts from BASF, Volkswagen and representatives from the world of science selected Yabuuchi for the outstanding results of his research on different battery technologies. Yabuuchi showed among other things how new battery materials can improve the efficiency of lithium-ion and sodium-ion batteries – a fundamentally new battery concept, which is currently a focus of research.

The International Science Award for Electrochemistry aims to stimulate research in electrochemistry worldwide in order to advance electric mobility.

The “Science Award Electrochemistry” aims to promote outstanding scientific and engineering achievements and provide an incentive for the development of high-performance energy stores. The award is endowed with prize money of €50,000.

New, efficient drive concepts like electromobility that are based on regenerative energies require innovative energy stores. “Comprehensive specialised knowledge in electrochemistry constitutes the basis for these new storage systems and hence for a supply of regenerative energy that is both climate friendly and preserves resources,” said Hans Dieter Pötsch, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG at the award ceremony in Wolfsburg. Electromobility has considerable importance to Volkswagen. “The further development of high-performance yet affordable batteries is indispensable in order to boost the driving range and thus the appeal of electric vehicles. We have set ourselves the ambitious goal of ensuring that Volkswagen battery systems will facilitate reliable day-to-day operations and last for an entire automotive life span,” said Pötsch.

Reliable battery systems are based on high-performance materials and components.
“A battery is a chemical power plant in which all the materials have to be optimally matched to each other,” said Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE. As the world’s largest automotive supplier in the chemical industry, BASF is working intensively to develop innovative electrolytes and cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries and future battery technologies. The company is making a key contribution to developing affordable and sustainable electric automobiles. “Our high-performance battery materials will allow a greater driving range with reduced weight and lower costs,” said Bock. The success of electromobility depends on high-performance batteries. The basis for this is top-class research in electrochemistry. “The science award designed by BASF and Volkswagen encourages highly qualified scientists from all over the world to develop and explore new future-oriented battery technologies faster,” said Bock.

The Science Award Electrochemistry ( will be presented annually and targets top scientists in the global academic research community. This is the first time that a science award is being presented jointly by two companies on a cross-sectoral basis. The prize money is intended as start-up funding for further research activities and is to be used for laboratory equipment, scientific events or to fund highly qualified employees.

About Volkswagen

The Volkswagen Group with its headquarters in Wolfsburg is one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers and the largest carmaker in Europe. In 2011, the Group increased the number of vehicles delivered to customers to 8.265 million (2010: 7.203 million), corresponding to a 12.3 percent share of the world passenger car market.

The Group is made up of twelve brands from seven European countries: Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Scania and MAN.

Each brand has its own character and operates as an independent entity on the market. The product spectrum extends from low-consumption small cars to luxury class vehicles. In the commercial vehicle sector, the product offering ranges from pick-ups to buses and heavy trucks.

The Group operates 99 production plants in 18 European countries and a further nine countries in the Americas, Asia and Africa. Each working day, 501,956* employees worldwide produce some 34,500* vehicles, are involved in vehicle-related services or work in the other fields of business. The Volkswagen Group sells its vehicles in 153* countries.

It is the goal of the Group to offer attractive, safe and environmentally sound vehicles which are competitive on an increasingly tough market and which set world standards in their respective classes.

*) December 31, 2011 (excluding Ducati and Porsche)

BASF’s solutions for sustainable electromobility

BASF is developing innovative materials and components such as cathode materials and electrolytes for high-performance lithium-ion batteries. Simultaneously, the company is researching future battery concepts such as lithium sulfur or lithium air. These will allow significantly higher energy densities and have the potential to further reduce battery weight and costs. Other BASF products such as plastics for lightweight construction and insulating materials as well as infrared reflective coatings for improved heat management will also be major elements in promoting resource-efficient electromobility.

About BASF

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. We combine economic success, social responsibility and environmental protection. Through science and innovation we enable our customers in almost all industries to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and system solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring healthy food and nutrition and helping to improve the quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF posted sales of about €73.5 billion in 2011 and had more than 111,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at


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