CalCharge, the pioneering initiative designed to accelerate breakthrough energy storage technologies, welcomed six new member companies, include leading global technology supplier Bosch and automotive leader Toyota Motor Corporation. The newly announced charter members, Bosch and Toyota, along with general members Blue Current, Ensor, EnZinc and ITN Energy Systems will have access to CalCharge’s programs, services and network, all of which help clear the path to commercialization.
CalCharge’s technology acceleration program facilitates members access to three Bay Area national labs: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. These national labs are home to world-class scientists and leading-edge facilities.
“Connecting private companies with the talent at the labs means that innovators at both public and private organizations have a new opportunity to learn and share with one another,” said Horst Simon, deputy director at Berkeley Lab, one of the founding organizations of CalCharge. “Getting a window into the market realities early on is a huge advantage for companies of any size. It’s exciting to see more companies and projects take advantage of Berkeley Lab and move closer to meaningful breakthroughs in battery technology.”
Using Collaborative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), CalCharge pairs companies large and small with national labs, accelerating the development of ideas, technologies and products that will make a clean energy future possible.
“Gaining access to the national labs, their experts and unique facilities means we can accelerate our innovation efforts,” said Aleksandar Kojic, department head in corporate research at the global technology supplier Bosch. “We’re excited to be the first CalCharge member conducting research at SLAC, and we look forward to working with both Berkeley Lab and Livermore Lab in the future.”
The CalCharge CRADAs also help national labs, funded by the Department of Energy, find and work with pioneering companies.
“The CalCharge CRADA has enabled SLAC to quickly engage with industry partners in helping to advance their battery technology,” said Mark Hartney, chief technology officer at SLAC. “Through CalCharge, SLAC is furthering the Department of Energy’s stated strategy of helping private industry accelerate their technology development in collaboration with the national labs.”
From decarbonizing the transportation fleet to incorporating intermittent renewable sources of energy, energy storage is considered the lynchpin technology to scale clean energy.
“Being able to store energy efficiently, affordably and at the right scale is the key to unleashing the full power of the clean energy economy,” said Julie Blunden, chair of the CalCharge board. “By bringing national labs and cutting-edge companies together, CalCharge is turbo-charging the innovation process. Adding these six innovative companies to the CalCharge roster increases our momentum and brings breakthroughs that much closer to the marketplace.”
California is a world leader in the energy storage sector, with over one hundred companies working to advance battery technology.
“What happens in the California energy sector shapes the entire industry,” said Dr. Mohan Misra, founder, president and CEO of ITN Energy Systems, a technology incubator focused on developing next generation flow batteries, lithium batteries and fuel cells. “We’re a Colorado company, and CalCharge helps us keep our finger on the pulse of the battery sector as a whole. We look forward to getting into California’s elite research facilities to advance our technologies.”
CalCharge acts as the center of gravity for its member companies, providing valuable connections to each other and to national lab resources.
“Lawrence Livermore’s expertise in materials, manufacturing and high performance computing and simulations offers powerful tools for energy storage technology,” said Bill Goldstein, director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the most recent national lab to join the CalCharge consortium. “We look forward to engaging with industry innovators to help advance technologies vital to California’s energy future.”
Eighteen companies are now members of CalCharge, including the six new members announced today.
Innovators interested in learning more can join CalCharge for an open house at new partner member Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on August 25
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.