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Northwestern start-up teams with Japanese company to commercialize battery technology


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: December 12th, 2018

A Northwestern University start-up is partnering with a large Japanese chemical manufacturer to commercialize a new battery technology.

NanoGraf Technologies, a joint venture between the startup SiNode Systems and Tokyo-based JNC, aims to advance a technology created at Northwestern that applies graphene to silicon to create a novel kind of anode, the component through which current flows in a battery. The goal is to improve capacity and speed up charging times for lithium-ion batteries.

Under the new venture, SiNode will be the majority shareholder, and its co-founder Samir Mayekar will serve as CEO of NanoGraf. JNC will contribute about $4.5 million in funding and other resources such as staff and production capacity.

SiNode has already raised about $7 million from business plan competitions, federal research grants and development contracts with commercial partners such as automakers and consumer-electronics companies. According to Mayekar, teaming with JNC means it won’t have to spend millions of that funding to build its own production facilities or quality control capabilities.

NanoGraf expects to begin producing its first commercial product next year.

Source: Crain’s Chicago Business

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