Two Startup Companies Use Argonne’s Technology to Compete in “America’s Next Top Energy Innovator”
ARGONNE, Ill., Feb. 1, 2012 – Two startup companies, California Lithium Battery and Umpqua Energy, are using Argonne National Laboratory’s technology to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy’s “America’s Next Top Energy Innovator Challenge,” a competition where Americans vote online for the most innovative and promising startup companies that are using technologies from the Department’s national laboratories to develop new products and businesses. Based on the public vote and an expert review, the top startup companies will be invited to be featured at the premier annual gathering of clean energy investors and innovators around the country, the 2012 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit, at the end of February. Voting is available at www.energy.gov/topinnovator.
“Through the America’s Next Top Energy Innovator Challenge, we are unleashing startup companies to do what they do best: create new products, new industries, and new jobs,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “We’ve challenged America's entrepreneurs and innovators to create new businesses based on discoveries made by our world-leading national laboratories.”
Americans can view profiles of the competing startups and vote on which ones could make the greatest contributions to the country’s economic and energy future by visiting www.energy.gov/topinnovator. An expert panel will also evaluate the companies and rank them. Voting ends at 8:59 a.m EST on Monday, February 6.
California Lithium Battery (CaLBattery), based in Los Angeles, California, is developing a low-cost, advanced lithium-ion battery that employs a novel silicon graphene composite material that will substantially improve battery cycle life. When combined with other advanced battery materials, it could effectively lower battery life cycle cost by up to 70 percent. Over the next year, CALBattery will be working with Argonne National Laboratory to combine their patented silicon-graphene anode material process together with other advanced ANL cathode and electrolyte battery materials. View a video on the company’s technology HERE.
Umpqua Energy, based in Medford, Oregon, is using an Argonne National Laboratory technology to develop a system that allows a gasoline engine to operate in an extreme lean burn mode in order to increase gasoline mileage. One negative side effect of a lean burn engine, whether powered by gasoline or diesel fuel, is an increase in the amount of harmful gases released to the environment. The company expects to both increase fuel economy and simultaneously reduce emissions with its system. View a video on the company’s technology HERE.
The companies participating in the challenge have signed option agreements allowing them to license valuable, cutting-edge technologies developed and patented by one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s 17 national laboratories and the Y-12 National Security Complex. Thirty-six companies in total have signed these option agreements with the national laboratories under a streamlined, simplified application process. Learn more about DOE’s America’s Next Top Energy Innovator program HERE.
The Energy Department also announced today that it will be extending America’s Next Top Energy Innovator through next year, which will continue to make it easier for startups to use inventions and technologies developed at DOE’s national laboratories to create new businesses, new products and new jobs for American workers. The Department will also offer another online competition in 2013.
America’s Next Top Energy Innovator is part of the White House Startup America Initiative that celebrates its one year anniversary today. Startup America is a multiagency effort across the Obama Administration to promote high-growth entrepreneurship by expanding access to capital, cutting red tape, and accelerate innovation through agency action.
To learn more about the Obama Administration’s Startup America Initiative, the program’s one year anniversary and new steps the Obama Administration is taking to support job-creating small businesses, visit HERE.
To learn more about the 2012 ARPA-E Energy Summit, visit http://www.energyinnovationsummit.com/.