March 22, 2018

UConn, Cadenza launch battery-tech research partnership

Cadenza Innovations
Cadenza Innovations
Supercell-based batteries Cadenza worked on with automaker Fiat, a project that received funding from the federal ARPA-E program.
Contributed photo
Christina Lampe-Onnerud, CEO of Cadenza
Contributed photo
UConn Prof. Radenka Maric

A Wilton-based battery technology designer, Cadenza Innovation, has inked a $700,000 three-year partnership with UConn energy researchers.

Cadenza, whose investors include Connecticut Innovations, is funding the three-year collaboration, which includes UConn materials science and biomedical engineering professors.

Led by Prof. Radenka Maric, UConn's vice president for research and Connecticut Clean Energy Fund Professor of Sustainable Energy, UConn will help Cadenza study technology to synthesize graphite collected at a massive mine in Mozambique for use in lithium-ion batteries.

Cadenza, which since 2016 has grown from 10 employees to about 30, and opened an office at Duracell's Bethel headquarters last year, is working to lower the cost and increase the density of of lithium-ion batteries, and is targeting the electric vehicle and grid storage markets.

Cadenza forged a partnership with the mine's Australian owner, Syrah Resources, last year.

Cadenza CEO Christina Lampe-Onnerud, who previously founded Massachusetts-based battery company Boston-Power, serves on Syrah's board of directors.

In an interview, Lampe-Onnerud called the Syrah mine "an enormous resource."

"It could help drive the next era of electricity," she said.

Maric, a fuel-cell expert, said she first met Lampe-Onnerud several years ago at a Connecticut Technology Council event.

She said UConn and Cadenza each bring value to the partnership.

"Cadenza has the technical capability and holds key patents to develop game-changing battery technologies," Maric said. "UConn has the expertise and unmatched research facilities to conduct rigorous, reproducible, accurate specialty materials analysis to help their technology advance."

Also involved in the project are UConn professors Sina Shahbazmohamadi and Steven Suib.

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