Press Release 143/2012

Start of Construction of the Helmholtz Institute Ulm

2400 Square Meters for Battery Research in the Ulm Science City – Construction Planned to Be Completed by Late 2013
Neues Gebäude für die Batterieforschung: Der HIU-Bau soll bis Ende 2013 bezugsfertig sei.  (Bild: Vermögen und Bau Baden-Württemberg)
New building for battery research: The HIU building is planned to be ready for occupation by the end of 2013. (Photo: Vermögen und Bau Baden-Württemberg)

The energy turnaround needs high-performance batteries. Scientists of the Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU) are working full speed on developing the fundamentals of future highly efficient mobile and stationary storage systems. Research into this socially relevant topic will be accommodated in a new building in the Ulm Science City. The building constructed jointly by the state of Baden-Württemberg and Ulm University will cost EUR 12 million and have an area of 2400 square meters on three levels. By the end of 2013, the building is expected to be ready for occupation. Today, the responsible Ulm office of Vermögen und Bau Baden-Württemberg celebrated the ground-breaking ceremony together with the HIU partners and representatives of politics.

“Investigation of modern storage technologies is of high relevance to managing the energy turnaround and to the further development of electric mobility in Baden-Württemberg. The new building of the Helmholtz Institute for Electrochemical Energy Storage in Ulm will provide best possible prerequisities,” said Wolfgang Leidig, Head of Department of the Ministry of Finance and Economics, and Dr. Simone Schwanitz, Head of Department of the Ministry of Science, Research, and the Arts, during the ground-breaking ceremony today.

Founder and partner of the HIU is Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). As a member of the Helmholtz Association, it established HIU in cooperation with Ulm University. Associated partners are the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW).

“Battery research is a major activity within the KIT strategy. We want to supply economically efficient and viable solutions for electric mobility and the integration of renewable energies, e.g. wind and solar power, in the energy system,” emphasized Professor Detlef Löhe, KIT Vice President for Research and Information. “Pooling of the competences of the partners creates perfect prerequisites for comprehensive and in-depth research into electrochemical energy storage.”

“The new building of the Helmholtz Institute Ulm is a major cornerstone that will enhance our competence in research and development of modern battery technologies. It is the signpost of fruitful cooperation of the HIU partners in the important field of electric energy storage,” said the President of Ulm University, Professor Karl Joachim Ebeling.

The new building will accommodate offices and labs for 80 employees. Among others, a vibration-cushioned basement will be constructed for the sensitive measurement devices. After its foundation in early 2011, the HIU rapidly started work. Since its foundation, 20 professors and experienced scientists of the four partners have been assuming executive functions at HIU and supervising research. Work is closely linked with the expertise of the founding partners. In addition, three new professorships for solid-state chemistry, electrochemistry focusing on safe battery systems, and multi-physical modeling are being established. By mid-2013, the HIU is planned to have 40 employees financed from basic funds. Of them, 30 will work in Ulm and 10 in Karlsruhe. Hence, the HIU will be the bridge between Karlsruhe and Ulm in the battery research sector. The DLR funds a professorship with a working group. Other scientists and a graduate school funded from third-party funds will follow.

It is the objective of HIU to combine excellent fundamental research with application. Like no other institute in Germany, the HIU covers nearly all fields of battery research. In addition, HIU will intensify education and the promotion of young scientists for the training of highly qualified young scientists and engineers in this strategically relevant field of research and industry.

As a Helmholtz institute, the HIU will have a basic budget of EUR 5.5 million per year. This budget will be funded via the KIT by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the state of Baden-Württemberg at a ratio of 90 to 10.

Further information on the research activities of HIU can be found at:


Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 10,000 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,800 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

lg, 26.09.2012

Margarete Lehné
Chief Press Officer (acting)
Phone: +49 721 608-41105
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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Monika Landgraf
Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-21150
Fax: +49 721 608-41150
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