Japanese patent enables exclusive commercialization of silicon-based nanowire electrodes to
improve battery performance in everyday devices such as cell phones
ALBANY – Building on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s blueprint for high-tech, clean-energy-based innovation in New York State, SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (SUNY Poly CNSE), in partnership with SUNY Poly CNSE battery storage spinout Besstech, announced today that they have been awarded a Japanese patent for nanostructured electrodes that are used as part of next-generation battery technology. Besstech’s licensing agreement enables the Albany-based company to sell cutting-edge battery solutions in Japan.
“Governor Cuomo’s leadership is transforming New York State into the epicenter of global high-tech business opportunities and Besstech’s first patent is a perfect example. SUNY Poly CNSE and the institution’s Energy and Environmental Technology Applications Center (E2TAC) is thrilled that Japan has recognized this novel approach to energy storage that Besstech is commercializing right here in New York State,” said Dr. Pradeep Haldar, CNSE Vice President of Entrepreneurship Innovation and Clean Energy Programs; Head, Nanoeconomics Constellation; Professor; and Director of the CNSE E2TAC. “With patents pending in a number of other nations, this first patent for technology that will lead to more cost-effective, powerful batteries for use in a wide range of applications is further proof that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s public-private model for research, development, and commercialization is catalyzing an unparalleled educational and entrepreneurial environment for robust economic growth.”
“This patent is a testament to SUNY Poly’s vibrant high-tech education and business-focused ecosystem which is enabling commercialization of the silicon-based nanowire electrodes that were developed at SUNY Poly CNSE’s leading-edge laboratories,” said Besstech CEO Dr. Fernando Gómez-Baquero. “This patent is a milestone, highlighting the fact that this exciting technology is unique and will also serve as the basis for more advanced battery architectures. We are proud to work with SUNY to license this technology and meet our customers’ needs. These fast-charging battery components, which enable 30 to 40% more energy storage as compared to other technologies that are currently available, allow our customers to more efficiently, conveniently, and cost-effectively power the myriad of electronic devices that so many people have come to rely on.”
“This first patent for this technology will allow SUNY Poly CNSE’s first student-led company to explore commercialization opportunities of their battery solution in Japan, showcasing the benefits of the synergy between SUNY Poly CNSE’s educational offerings, advanced resources, and the unique capabilities that have led to the birth of an unparalleled start-up environment in New York State,” said Alexander N. Cartwright, SUNY provost and executive vice chancellor, and interim president of the Research Foundation for SUNY. “SUNY provides a world-class platform for the research, development, and commercialization of globally disruptive technologies, and this is a perfect example of how SUNY Poly CNSE and SUNY’s innovation pipeline are leading to tangible, real-world applications that are increasingly recognized around the world.”
Besstech, whose company name has evolved from an acronym for “Battery Energy Storage Systems - Technologies” is a component design and engineering firm that was started by a group of SUNY Poly CNSE graduate students in 2010. Working at SUNY Poly CNSE’s $20 billion Albany NanoTech Complex, Besstech developed an innovative process for building nanostructures that offers significantly increased energy storage capacity, faster charging rates, and a longer lifetime for lithium-ion batteries. The company is led by CEO Dr. Fernando Gómez-Baquero who graduated from SUNY Poly CNSE in 2012 with a Ph.D. in Nanoscale Engineering with a concentration in Nanoeconomics. In 2012 Besstech entered into a licensing agreement with SUNY Poly CNSE, allowing the student startup to commercialize and begin scale-up of the battery technology.
Licensing agreements for SUNY are administered by the Research Foundation for SUNY (SUNY RF). In addition to the patent from the Japan Patent Office, the SUNY RF, acting on behalf of SUNY Poly, has applied for patents in the United States, Europe, Singapore, Canada, and China, paving the way for global market penetration by the New York State-produced energy storage solution. Besstech currently has two employees and three consultants; the company expects to hire for a number of new positions in 2015, with even more job growth possible as the technology is scaled-up and global partnerships are developed.
SUNY Poly CNSE has assisted Besstech in obtaining more than $1.4 million in funding to date through technology programs offered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Partnerships for Innovation program, as well as from Wakley Limited and the Eastern New York Angels (ENYA) private venture capital groups. Besstech is one of four companies that graduated from SUNY Poly CNSE E2TAC’s Incubators for Collaborating & Leveraging Energy And Nanotechnology (iCLEAN), which is currently providing technical incubation assistance, including investment, legal, and insurance contacts; mentoring; and other start-up business support to 34 active member companies. In 2010 BessTech took first place in the inaugural New York Business Plan Competition that was held at SUNY Poly CNSE where the company earned $19,000 in cash and in-kind services for development of its pioneering battery storage technology.
SUNY Polytechnic Institute. SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem, formed from the merger of the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and SUNY Institute of Technology. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nanobioscience and nanoeconomics programs at its Albany location and undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, including natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences at its Utica/Rome location. Thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts more than $20 billion in high-tech investments, over 300 corporate partners, and maintains a statewide footprint. The 1.3 million-square-foot Albany NanoTech megaplex is home to more than 3,500 scientists, researchers, engineers, students, faculty, and staff, in addition to Tech Valley High School. SUNY Poly operates the Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center (SCiTI) at Kiernan Plaza in Albany, the Solar Energy Development Center in Halfmoon, the Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries in Syracuse, the Photovoltaic Manufacturing and Technology Development Facility in Rochester, and the Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center (STC) in Canandaigua. SUNY Poly founded and manages the Computer Chip Commercialization Center (Quad-C) at its Utica location and also manages the $500 million New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium, with nodes in Albany and Rochester, as well as the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hub at RiverBend, Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub, and Buffalo Medical Innovation and Commercialization Hub. For information visit www.sunycnse.com and www.sunypoly.edu.
Besstech. Besstech is a lithium-ion component design and engineering company based in Albany, NY, delivering design solutions to battery manufacturers and assemblers. Its first product is a silicon-based nanoengineered anode for lithium-ion battery systems. Besstech’s anode technology provides 3 to 4 times the energy capacity of carbon anodes, charging rates as low as 6 minutes, and a lifetime of more than 1000 cycles. Its manufacturing process enables production of a fully functional anode in less than 2 hours, as compared to 2 to 4 weeks for traditional anodes, and eliminates the use of carbon and binders. As a result, battery assemblers can produce batteries that charge faster, have longer times between charging, increased lifetimes, and decreased weight. For information visit www.bess-tech.com.
About the State University of New York. The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating nearly 460,000 students in more than 7,500 degree and certificate programs on 64 college and university campuses, and online through Open SUNY. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally-sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.
Research Foundation for SUNY. The Research Foundation for The State University of New York (SUNY RF) is the largest, most comprehensive university-connected research foundation in the country. Serving SUNY and New York State, the SUNY RF provides essential services to SUNY faculty, students, and staff who are performing life-changing research in life sciences and medicine; engineering and nanotechnology; physical sciences and energy; social sciences; and computer and information sciences. More than 15,000 dedicated RF employees work on SUNY-led research, training and public service projects throughout New York, across the country and around the world. The SUNY RF strategic plan is aligned with the Power of SUNY and SUNY’s Research and Innovation Strategy. The SUNY RF is committed to integrity, accountability, and transparency in carrying out its mission. For information visit rfsuny.org.