March 9, 2023: The EU and Canada have launched a ‘matchmaking’ service to spur investment in businesses critical to battery manufacturing, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said on March 7.
The EU chief, who held talks in Canada with prime minister Justin Trudeau, said: “We will support our businesses in matchmaking. We will identify good investment opportunities and boost and accelerate the joint research that we are doing.”
Von der Leyen said an EU-Canada partnership on critical raw materials that began in 2021 was “already bearing fruit” but it was time to “take it to the next level.
“We will step up work with our respective industries. There is already a whole pipeline of very promising projects in exploration, mining and processing.”
During her visit to Canada, von der Leyen and Trudeau (pictured) toured Li-Cycle’s first commercial ‘spoke’ lithium ion battery recycling facility in Ontario.
She said Swedish gigafactory developer Northvolt was already partnering with Vale Canada to ramp up supplies of low-carbon nickel used to manufacture EVs, while Belgium’s Umicore is planning to build a battery materials production plant in Ontario.
Umicore also signed a joint development agreement with Canada’s Nano One last December on production process technologies for cathode active materials for lithium ion batteries.
Von der Lyen told the World Economic Forum in Davos in January that the EU would be strengthening its battery raw materials supply chain and would also take tough action against China and other countries engaged in aggressive moves to lure industrial projects including battery manufacturing away from the EU.