CalCharge, CalCEF, & Berkeley Lab Team Up For Better Battery Research

Here’s a cool announcement from from CalCharge, CalCEF, and Berkeley Lab:

calchargeBERKELEY, Calif. – May 3, 2013 – Beginning this month, the rapidly emerging California battery sector will have access to new resources to accelerate its growth: an opportunity to work alongside world-class scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

This opportunity is available to members of CalCharge, a partnership of Berkeley Lab and CalCEF that serves as a “center of gravity” for this emerging industry. The unique agreement announced today offers companies an expedited path to collaborate with Berkeley Lab scientists and gain access to the Lab’s state-of-the-art scientific research facilities for proprietary research and development projects.

Public-private research collaborations are critical to accelerating research in batteries, according to Venkat Srinivasan, head of the Energy Storage and Distributed Resources group at Berkeley Lab. “Private companies are eager to tap into the talent at the national labs, to have access to the best scientists, and the best equipment,” he said. “As a national lab, we’re also eager to help bridge the gap between basic and applied research. We think this agreement will knock down a barrier to innovation that will give the California industry the opportunity to achieve meaningful breakthroughs in battery technology.”


Berkeley Lab’s energy storage facilities have been advancing research and development since the 1970s as one of the nation’s largest and most advanced battery labs. Under the new agreement, CalCharge members can access Berkeley Lab’s advanced battery facilities, where they can create, model, test, characterize and simulate next-generation batteries and battery materials. Companies will have the option to obtain an exclusive license on the project inventions that result from their collaboration with Berkeley Lab scientists.

“It can take 10 years and $100 million to develop and commercialize a new battery technology,” said Jeff Anderson, interim Executive Director of CalCharge and managing director of CalCEF, a group of organizations promoting the development of a clean-energy economy. “Under this agreement, any company that becomes a member of CalCharge could start a collaborative research project that utilizes the facilities and experts of Berkeley Lab in a matter of weeks. This will save a tremendous amount of time, paperwork and money, letting little guys with big ideas get right to the innovation.”

CalCharge will use a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), a standard for how national labs work with industry partners. While Berkeley Lab has entered into CRADAs with individual companies, this is the first time that this type of structure has been used to cover members of an entire organization. Under the agreement, CalCharge members can operate under the terms of this groundbreaking CRADA, without going through the often lengthy process of negotiating an individual agreement.

California is home to an estimated 40 startup energy storage firms – about 30 in the Bay Area. CalCharge will announce the details of its membership program and new CRADA today at a gathering of over 150 battery sector leaders at Berkeley Lab.

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About CalCharge
CalCharge is a partnership of CalCEF and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. CalCharge will bring together emerging and established California companies, academic and research institutions, government bodies, and financing sources to jumpstart a new era of energy storage technologies for the electric/hybrid vehicle, grid, and consumer electronics markets.

About Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

About CalCEF
CalCEF works to promote the transition to a clean energy economy by creating institutions and investment vehicles that grow markets for clean energy technologies. CalCEF is a non-profit umbrella organization that pursues statewide and national agendas via 1) CalCEF Innovations, a 501(c)(3) that leads CalCEF’s analysis and product development efforts; 2) CalCEF Ventures, a 501(c)(4) that executes and scales the CalCEF investment strategy via a fund-of-funds model, partnering with leading investment managers; and 3) CalCEF Catalyst, a 501(c)(6) a platform for the creation of replicable models for “demand driven innovation” requiring the sustained collective action of stakeholders from across the clean energy sector.

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