New Battery Cluster Caps Busy Year for U-M Research and Technology

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project, says the battery hub will concentrate on technological advances in energy storage and new battery materials, from research to proof of concept. He says they will be looking to tackle big energy problems, “like a Manhattan Project or Apollo Program.”

It’s not certain how the marketing of the intellectual property generated by the battery hub will work, but Bateau says the university will hold the patents for the technology it creates. The JCESR’s goal, which Bateau admits is aggressive, is to have five times the energy storage capacity at one-fifth the cost in five years.

It’s no surprise to Stephen Forrest, U-M’s vice president for research, that the university was chosen to participate in the JCESR. “That’s one of our sweet spots,” he says. “We seem to have a deep bench in solving system-level problems. The battery hub is a really big win for us.”

Forrest says the university founded the Energy Institute about five years ago and purposefully added a significant number of faculty in battery research. “We recognized the opportunities there,” he adds. “We added seven new faculty members, so by the time this came along, I think we were about the first to be approached. It’s a good example of committing to [an opportunity] before you know the specific plan.”

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Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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