Sakti3 Named Affiliate of Joint Center for Energy Research Storage

3/19/14Follow @XconomyDET

Sakti3, an Ann Arbor advanced battery startup named as one of the world’s 50 most innovative companies in 2012 by the MIT Technology Review, has become affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR).

JCESR, which is run by Argonne National Lab, is an important research organization that unites four private sector companies with five national laboratories and five universities. Sakti3 co-founder and CEO Ann Marie Sastry says the company would likely collaborate on projects and prototypes that use the company’s solid state batteries.

Ann Marie Sastry, co-founder and CEO of Sakti3, says possible areas of collaboration include simulations as well as prototypes of technologies being used by the company’s solid state batteries.

“We were introduced to JCESR by Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Sen. Carl Levin,” Sastry says. “The objective is to plant a stake in the ground for future technology. [The DOE is] going to put a lot of resources into this so that in 10, 20, or 50 years we have really moved the needle.”

The JCESR announcement comes on the heels of news that Sakti3 was recognized as a 2014 Energy Innovation Pioneer at a prominent energy industry conference, held earlier this month in Houston, TX. The Energy Innovation Pioneer program aims to “identify the most innovative and distinctive new technologies in the energy spectrum,” according to a press release.

Last year, at Xconomy’s Mobile Madness Motor City event, Sastry told the crowd that the first market her company plans to tackle is consumer electronics, rather than vehicles or power grids. Battery cells inside consumer electronics essentially have the same technology as those in vehicles, and Sastry estimated that by 2020, consumers will own more than 1 billion devices—all of them needing a better way to store energy.

Sastry says Sakti3’s “near-term” plan is still to go after the consumer electronics market. “The barriers to entry are lower, the test cycles are lower, and the regulatory cycle is lower,” Sastry says. “We do intend to move into those other markets later.”

Sastry says the company is currently focused on acquiring a big manufacturing partner to help scale. She declines to identify any of the companies that Sakti3 has been meeting with, but says an announcement is coming sometime this year.

In the meantime, Sastry says she’s been having fun, working hard, and raising funds. “We’re in a good place,” she adds. “Honestly, I’m just a really happy warrior. We built this company to address a big challenge, and it’s an honor to work on these big problems.”

Sarah Schmid is the editor of Xconomy Detroit. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET

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