WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Obama has signed legislation enacting a key part of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow’s Battery Innovation Act to spur the development of new cutting-edge battery technology and create jobs here in America. The provision enacted would create an Energy Innovation Hub for advanced batteries to help continue the expansion of this growing new technology sector.
An Energy Innovation Hub for advanced batteries would bring together businesses, universities, and nonprofits in a central location to work together on new battery technologies. Similar hubs already exist to spur the development of other energy efficient products and to improve nuclear reactor design. Doing the same for advanced batteries will spur innovation in one of Michigan’s key new economic sectors.
"It is essential that Michigan lead in advanced battery research and production," said Sen. Stabenow. "Advanced battery companies are taking root in Michigan and creating jobs, and we must do everything in our power to help Michigan become the advanced battery capital of the world. If leading researchers in business, universities, and other institutions combine forces, we can make Michigan a magnet for investment in these cutting edge technologies."
Stabenow’s Battery Innovation Act is the first comprehensive plan offering Michigan companies the support they need to expand advanced battery production and job growth and ensure that America wins the race in the development of new advanced energy technologies. The Act incorporates all aspects of advanced battery production, from research and development, to the availability of raw materials, to the manufacturing of these high-tech products. The Act builds off initiatives Senator Stabenow championed in 2009, which helped Michigan become a leader in this new and growing industry. It is estimated that initiative has generated over $2 billion in private sector investment and created thousands of Michigan jobs.
The House of Representatives passed the legislation which will create an advanced battery hub, last week. The Senate passed and the president signed the bill on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011.