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Saft creates European battery alliance with Siemens, Solvay and Manz

PARIS, Feb 22 (Reuters) - French battery maker Saft, part of energy group Total, said on Thursday it had formed an alliance with European partners Siemens, Solvay and Manz to research, develop and build a new generation of batteries.

The move is part of a European efforts to develop battery manufacturing to compete with Asian and U.S. manufacturers.

The European Union's executive arm invited the bloc's industry chiefs in October last year to work towards a European battery consortium which could benefit from the executive's support and funding.

Saft said Siemens, Solvay and Manz had committed to work with it in the fields of materials, equipment and digitalisation of industrial processes.

It said the partnership, focusing on advanced high-density Li-ion and solid-state technology, would target the market for electric vehicles, railway, marine, aviation, energy storage and speciality industries.

"These new generation batteries will provide performance, cost and safety advantages, compared to current lithium-ion products," Saft said in a statement.

Saft said the alliance was not exclusive and the companies would work together over the next seven years to reach a common goal. (Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Jane Merriman/Sudip Kar-Gupta)