BASF and Volkswagen present Science Award Electrochemistry to Dr. Karl Mayrhofer, Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung, Düsseldorf

The international “Science Award Electrochemistry“ from BASF and Volkswagen to be presented annually with a prize money of € 50,000.The international “Science Award Electrochemistry” from BASF and Volkswagen goes in 2013 to Dr. Karl Mayrhofer, work group “Electrocatalysis”, Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung, Düsseldorf. The jury of representatives from BASF, Volkswagen and from academia selected Mayrhofer for the outstanding results of his research on electrocatalysts, which are crucial for the life expectancy of fuel cells. The scientist has developed new test and analysis methods which enable direct visual investigation of degradation pathways for different catalysts, and which identify fully automatic appropriate materials for catalysts. These research results are an important contribution to realizing highly active and stabile electrocatalysts for efficient electrochemical energy converters.

With the “Science Award Electrochemistry,” which is endowed with prize money of €50,000, BASF and Volkswagen support outstanding scientific and engineering achievements in the electrochemistry, and provide an incentive for the development of high-performance energy stores.

“As the world’s largest automotive supplier in the chemical industry, BASF currently offers innovative electrolytes and cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries. In addition, we are working intensively on the further development of these high-performance materials as well as future battery technologies. Efficient and affordable batteries are the most important prerequisite for more electromobility on our streets. We know that progress often makes small steps and that the market success for the next generation of batteries will probably only appear during the next decade. However, the potential from this business segment is enormous,” said Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE at the award ceremony in Ludwigshafen. BASF significantly facilitates affordable and enviroment-friendly electromobility through battery materials and catalysts for fuel cells. In order to develop and explore new future-oriented battery technologies faster, BASF and Volkswagen encourage highly qualified scientists from all over the world with the science prize.

“2013 is the key year for electromobility. Volkswagen Group is now starting its powerful electro-offensive. The Electro-Golf and e-up!, Audi A3 etron and Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid stand for the complete scope and the potential of e-mobility, as we understand it. From the emission-free city car, and the allrounder with plug-in hybrid, to the 3-liter sport limousine: Customers decide how much “electro” they want to have in our products. And that is only the beginning. With the appropriate demand, up to 40 more types will follow in all segments and brands. Therefore, we need to exploit all possibilities also to further optimize the chemistry of batteries, because electromobility is not a sprint, but a marathon”, said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Volkswagen Group.

The Science Award Electrochemistry ( has been presented annually since 2012 and targets top scientists in the global academic research community. This is the first science award to be 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.