UConn and Cadenza Innovation Team to Advance the Use of Graphite for Lithium-ion Batteries

Initiative Led by Pair of Award-winning Women Highly Regarded for Expertise in Clean Technologies

WILTON, Conn. – March 22, 2018 – Cadenza Innovation, the pioneering provider of energy storage solutions for license to lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery manufacturers, and the University of Connecticut (UConn), the state’s flagship public research institution, today announced a long-term research agreement to conduct highly specialized materials analysis and synthesis for use in lithium-ion-based energy storage.

The technical work will be conducted at UConn’s Center for Clean Energy Engineering in the lab of Dr. Radenka Maric, UConn’s Vice President for Research and CT Clean Energy Fund Professor of Sustainable Energy, the Principal Investigator on the project. Additional work will take place at the recently opened Innovation Partnership Building at the UConn Tech Park by Professors Sina Shahbazmohamadi and Steven Suib.

“Dr. Maric and the UConn clean energy engineering team are conducting vital research for energy storage and a range of other critical technologies,” said Cadenza Innovation Founder and CEO Dr. Christina Lampe-Onnerud. “Their world-class facilities, exceptional R&D staff and robust capabilities for analysis make them an ideal partner. With UConn’s help, Cadenza Innovation looks forward to advancing the state-of-the-art in graphite anodes specifically, as well as batteries and energy storage overall.”

Among the world’s foremost authorities on battery chemistry and design, Dr. Lampe-Onnerud is a 20-year battery industry expert. A World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, she has shared insights into energy storage and climate change at Davos and for various United Nations groups. Dr. Lampe-Onnerud is also an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Hall of Fame winner, an MIT Technology Review Young Innovator award recipient and has earned multiple distinctions for her commitment to environmental sustainability. She holds more than 80 patents.

A native of Sweden and among the country’s most recognized battery industry entrepreneurs, Dr. Lampe-Onnerud earned her doctorate in Inorganic Chemistry and Math from Uppsala University. Additionally, Dr. Lampe-Onnerud did her post-doctorate work at MIT, where she remains actively engaged as a member of the visiting committee for the Chemistry Department and serves as a guest lecturer.

Internationally recognized for its strong intellectual property portfolio in several key areas in the battery field, Cadenza Innovation has corporate offices in Wilton, Connecticut, and advanced technology labs at One Duracell Drive in Bethel. Enabling solutions that exceed industry benchmarks in low cost, greater energy density, safety and ease of manufacturing, the company’s novel battery platform architecture – or supercell – recently earned a pair of patents.

The collaboration between Cadenza Innovation and UConn builds upon the startup’s partnership with Syrah Resources, the only major, fully funded, natural graphite development project in construction globally. By 2020, Syrah is projected to be the world’s largest individual graphite producer with approximately 40 percent market share from its operation in Mozambique.

“Cadenza has the technical capability and holds key patents to develop game-changing battery technologies,” said Dr. Maric. “UConn has the expertise and unmatched research facilities to conduct rigorous, reproducible, accurate specialty materials analysis to help their technology advance. We’re thrilled to be supporting the growth of a cutting-edge company like Cadenza.”

Dr. Maric is an internationally recognized expert in fuel cell technology, with extensive experience collaborating with industry partners, national laboratories and in academia. She joined the University in 2010 as part of the Eminent Faculty Initiative, a unique partnership between UConn, the Connecticut General Assembly and industry stakeholders committed to positioning Connecticut as a global leader in sustainable green energy R&D.

Dr. Maric is responsible for the development of novel methods for nano-structure development with a controlled morphology of films with applications in fuel cell, batteries, sensors and other coating applications. Her focus has been in the fundamental understanding of microstructure and electrochemical properties of materials.

Specifically, the project centers around the characterization and fundamental study of Cadenza Innovation’s technology to synthesize low cost, natural graphite collected from the Syrah mines into an ideal base material for Li-ion batteries. As the initiative proceeds, additional tasks focused on improving battery performance will be defined and executed. The results of this research are expected to provide the basis for advanced battery products.

This three-year engagement has already led to additional projects including several School of Engineering Senior Design Projects and material characterization using advanced capabilities through UConn’s Institute of Materials Science Industrial Affiliates Program.

Notably, Dr. Maric and Dr. Lampe-Onnerud were both honored by the Connecticut Technology Council in 2015 as part of the group’s 11th Annual Women of Innovation Awards Gala – Dr. Maric for Research Innovation and Leadership and Dr. Lampe-Onnerud for Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership.

 About Cadenza Innovation, Inc.

Founded in 2012 by a team of the world’s pre-eminent lithium-ion battery experts with more than 125 patents, Cadenza Innovation is capitalizing on its intellectual property, field-proven operational and mass production expertise and partner network to establish itself as a leader in low cost, safe and energy dense storage solutions. Licensing its technology for immediate access, company executives have held key roles at lithium-ion battery cell, pack and system provider Boston-Power, investment firm Bridgewater Associates, consulting firm Arthur D. Little and other globally respected organizations. Cadenza Innovation is backed by more than $10 million in oversubscribed Series A funding led by Golden Seeds and has earned funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the states of New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Headquartered in Wilton, Connecticut, the company has advanced technology development labs at 1 Duracell Drive in Bethel. For more information, visit www.cadenzainnovation.com.

About the University of Connecticut

The University of Connecticut is one of the top 25 public research universities in the nation and is a research leader in the fields of genomics, advanced materials, cell biology, cardiovascular research, additive manufacturing, biomedical devices, cybersecurity and nanotechnology. As Connecticut’s flagship institution of higher education, UConn serves as an important resource for Connecticut economic development and is dedicated to building collaborations with industry and entrepreneurs. With more than $3.6B in investment from the state of Connecticut and industry partners, UConn will continue to train outstanding students, perform breakthrough research and develop innovative solutions for the marketplace.

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Bryan Grillo
CHEN PR for Cadenza Innovation


Jessica McBride, PhD
Manager of Research Communications
Office of the Vice President for Research
University of Connecticut