Initial drive for research on materials for energy storage and conversion have focused on mobility. This has shifted over the years between cycles of concentrated research on “hydrogen – fuel cell car” and “batteries – electric car”. We saw pioneering work in the 70’s on materials for hydrogen storage as well as for the fuel cells. This was followed by a fruitful cycle of concentrated research on batteries culminating on the introduction of Li-ion batteries in the 80’s.
There was a notable comeback of intensified research on hydrogen-fuel cells starting from 2000s with huge financial support where road maps to hydrogen economy were prepared in a number of countries with well-defined targets. In 2010 or so there was a rise of battery research again, but these lines of alternating activities were interrupted in the last 10 years or so where the drive has gained a new stimulus from the needs of renewable energy.
Truly the cost of renewable energy becoming less than that of fossil fuel has altered the whole agenda for research. Now the desire to shift to renewable energy is not just due to the environmental concerns, but it is a way of reducing the cost of energy. This has re-addressed the needs of material research for energy storage and conversion where each lines of activity fits to its proper space, complimenting one other, while still preserving some degree of competition. Thus in addition to needs of mobility, we now face materials challenges for the integration of electricity grid and gas grid while each being subject to transformation by integration of renewables.
Within this setting, International Symposium on Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion (mESC-IS) was inaugurated in 2015. The symposium took place in Ankara at METU bringing together experts from hydrogen&fuel cell as well as battery&supercapacitor communities. As a result, an extensive use was made of plenary sessions in this meeting, a tradition that continued thereafter. Initially the symposium was planned for every two years, but this was changed in the Cappadocia meeting. The symposium now takes place every year, odd years in Turkey and even years in one of the participating countries.
mESC-IS series of symposia (as well as the summer schools) are organized with the general guidance of International Steering Committee. Each symposium has its own committees formed in accordance with the tasks undertaken within the particular symposium.