A Massey University research team has been awarded $964,050 to develop batteries that are cheaper and more sustainable than those currently manufactured.
Professor Simon Hall, of the Institute of Fundamental Sciences, leads the team that has received funding over two years from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
Professor Hall and his colleagues, Dr Mark Waterland and Dr Gareth Rowlands, will design a new battery and related technologies based on targeted novel chemistries. The new cathodes should result in less expensive and more sustainable long-term commercial products.
If successful, new manufacturing opportunities could provide benefits to New Zealand through sharing in the $4.9 billion global stationary battery market and in the $30 billion global electric vehicle market. The technology could also help mitigate New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Professor Hall’s team has multidisciplinary strengths, with existing experience in developing and commercialising novel battery systems. Its preliminary research, funded in part by the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, has shown sufficient promise for Massey University and its commercialisation partner the BioCommerce Centre, to form the company Synthodics Ltd. The intellectual property has already been licensed to this company, providing a clear pathway to commercialisation.
The funding was announced today by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce, who says the funded projects have significant export potential. “Our top 10 high-tech companies export $4 billion of product a year but we need more businesses to grow to this size,” Mr Joyce says.
Last month, five other Massey projects recieved funding from the ministry. Read more about them here.
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