Luther Promotes Lithium

Research center will promote lithium-based technologies

February 2023

The Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg has inaugurated the Institute for Technology and Economics of Lithium (ITEL), a new interdisciplinary research center to promote lithium-based, CO2-neutral circular economies in Germany. It’s also promoting a dramatic increase in lithium production in the EU.

“We need at least 10, maybe 15, lithium factories here in Europe,” ITEL head Ralf Wehrspohn told regional broadcaster MDR. “That entails investments of up to EUR 10 billion. They will of course also create jobs requiring skills that are a lot like those people currently employed in the coal industry have.”

The initiators of the institute are three companies: Papenburg Waste Management, Knauf Plaster and Rock Tech Lithium. As a collaboration between academia and industry, the institute is, in Wehrspohn’s words, “unique in Germany” and presents “great chances for a technological advantage.”