Posts Tagged “Addionics”
As the COVID-19 pandemic shakes the global economy, the electric car sector continues to serve up a bright spot of expectation and innovation for a more sustainable future.
Norway hit the headlines in July, setting a world record as pure electric cars made up almost half of car sales in the country in the first half of 2020. Tesla, meanwhile, continues to cut prices for its electric cars and is snagging headlines for its rechargeable battery plans.
Indeed, battery-powered vehicle innovation is gaining traction as oil demand plummets, according to a new UNCTAD report that highlights the growing importance of electric mobility and the main materials used to make rechargeable car batteries.
For smart 3D batteries startup Addionics, the Israeli-UK outfit which develops specialized rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles and other applications, this is prime time to show off its cost-effective, scalable, and game-changing battery structures.
Addionics is a startup keen on changing the dynamics of chemical reactions to improve battery performance, mileage, lifetime, safety, charging time and cost-effectiveness.
While others in the rechargeable battery sector are looking to new chemistries for batteries and cheaper materials, the Addionics scientists have come up with an out-of-the-box engineering approach that will enhance battery performance no matter the type of battery chemistry.
The company created a new way to store energy. It created a porous surface for electrodes that has a direct effect on how the cells behave. This smart 3D structure minimizes the internal resistance and improves mechanical longevity, thermal stability and other basic limitations and degradation factors in standard batteries.
“We believe there is a lot of room for improvement in batteries. All the focus is on the chemistry. We are taking a different approach,” says Dr. Moshiel Biton, Addionics CEO. “We can simulate how the architecture, the porous level, affects performance.”
If all goes as planned, the Addionics technology will transform the way we store and deliver energy and still have a positive effect on the environment. “We are reducing the cost of batteries by 10-15 percent by enabling higher energy density and a longer lifetime,” says Biton.
The startup is groundbreaking in its approach but wants to keep the integration into existing OEM battery assembly lines simple for easier adoption. The smart 3D metal structure for rechargeable batteries is considered a drop-in solution.
“We see that the industry is very traditional, so we want to offer a solution that will not change the chemistry or infrastructure or the supply chain. We want to offer minimum change but a maximum impact. We are taking existing technology and by better engineering, we can improve it and enhance it further,” Biton tells NoCamels.
The idea for changing the structure as opposed to the chemistry makeup came to Biton about seven years ago, after he heard about the battery defects in smartphones that was causing them to overheat and explode. At the time, Biton, a doctoral student at Imperial College London, decided to investigate and explore in real-time what the problem was.
He found that dendrites, needle-like structures that plague lithium batteries, were short-circuiting and causing the explosions.
Armed with a healthy dose of Israeli chutzpah, Biton turned to his then-teachers and asked them to join him on a mission to change the world of energy storage. Dr. Farid Tariq, co-founder and CSO, and Dr. Vladimir Yufit, co-founder and CTO, served as academic advisors before finally leaving their Imperial positions to cofound Addionics with Biton in 2018.
The young startup, with headquarters in both London and Tel Aviv, has already raised $6 million in funding, a combination of a round led by Next Gear Ventures and winning a $2.5 million grant as part of the prestigious Horizon2020 EU competition.
The Horizon2020 EU committee described Addionics’ innovation as “disruptive and potentially a game-change in the energy storage market. The timing is right, as there is a strong demand in the market for such solutions.”
Of course, Addionics is just one of many players in the competitive battery innovation sector. In Israel, battery materials innovation developer StoreDot , Phinergy and CENS recently enjoyed the media’s spotlight for advances in the electric vehicle space.
“We believe there is a lot of room for improvement in batteries. We want to see more innovation and more success stories in this domain. In the end, it is the reputation of Israel in the field,” says Biton.
The Addionics team likes to compare their technology to a horse race – with the battery chemistry innovators as the horses and their technology solution as the race itself.
“No matter what chemistry technology will win the electrification race, we will improve it even more. We are betting on the race, and not on the horse,” says Yufit in a press statement.
At the moment, Addionics focuses on the automotive market but also develops technology for other products such as consumer electronics, medical devices, grid energy storage, drones.
Intel kicked off the launch of its new accelerator program in Israel on Tuesday for early-stage startups, announcing the nine data-centric companies that will be participating in the 16-week initiative.
The program, called “Ignite,” was first announced in June. Its aim is to “leverage Intel’s global market access, business, and technology leadership to provide early-stage startups [with a] unique advantage on their path to disrupt the future,” the tech giant said at the time.
“Intel has always worked in concert with open ecosystems to scale new technologies so they can be transformational for our customers, business and society,” said Intel CEO Bob Swan in June during a trip to Israel for the announcement. “Israel has the deep skill base in AI, autonomous systems and the underlying technologies critical to these inflections that make it a natural choice to launch our Ignite program,” Swan said.
- Cloudwize – a startup that enables organizations to maximize the value of their cloud architecture.
- Addionics – an Israeli startup with offices in the UK founded in 2017 that accelerates smart electrification by redesigning battery architecture.
- GleanLabs – a Tel Aviv-based startup founded in 2017 that offers an automatic employee competency mapping and management platform for large R&D organizations.
- Deci AI – a startup that provides acceleration of deep learning models, substantially reducing latency and cost-to-serve.
- Hi Auto – a startup that helps OEMs reinvent how customers spend their time in the car by offering a whitelabel voice platform that converses naturally with customers and works under any noise conditions.
- Granulate – a startup that developed software to reduce compute costs by up to 60 percent while maximizing performance.
- Mine – a startup that developed a platform to empower individuals and businesses to discover their digital footprint in order to reduce redundant risk.
- HourOne – a company with offices in NYC and Vancouver that developed a synthetic video creation platform powered by artificial intelligence.
- NOVOS – an Israeli startup founded in 2017 that developed a training platform for gamers who want to improve their skills.
The program has recruited leading mentors in various fields to deliver workshops and training focused on technology and entrepreneurship, including Gil Hirsch, founder of Face.com, Roni Zahavi CEO and co-founder of Hibob, and Ron Yekutiel, founder and chairman of Kaltura, Intel said. The participating companies will also receive financial advice from Deloitte, legal guidance from Pearl Cohen, and IT services from Intel.
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“Ignite will supply these selected startups with the tools for success,” said Tzahi (Zack) Weisfeld, head of Ignite, in a statement.
Weisfeld, a former global head of Microsoft for Startups added: “Intel is responsible for much of the world’s technological infrastructure and aims to be twenty steps ahead of the game. The participants have the opportunity to take part in our vision, and can have an enormous impact on their fields through leading innovation globally.”
“For the startups to succeed is for Intel to succeed — it goes both ways,” Weisfeld said.
He tells NoCamels in a phone interview that Ignite is not just another accelerator. “It’s a high-intensity program that’s very thorough with a dedicated team and strong mentorship backing,” he explains.
Weisfeld says the startups will benefit from four types of mentors: industry mentors where they’ll be “matched” with committed, serial entrepreneurs in a managed process; Intel tech mentors where startups will be partnered with experts who will help drive the technical aspects; industry experts based on the needs of the individual startups; and workshop leaders who will help with the development of processes like product development and go-to-market strategies.
“These connections that they build can be invaluable and can last a lifetime,” Weisfeld says.
Intel will take no equity from the startups but the program will demand their time and energy. Weisfeld himself will meet weekly with each startup to assess progress and help guide them through any challenges, he says.
“This program’s KPIs [key performance indicators] are the business success of startups, their traction, and any follow-up funding,” Weisfeld explains.
Like the program, the selection process was also rigorous, he says. The startups were evaluated by two teams of between six to seven judges made up of industry experts and Intel executives. “We wanted to see a tech-based big idea that seeks to provide a solution to something, a good team, a good CEO, good energy, and coachability,” Weisfeld says, describing the whole process “more like a VC than an accelerator.”
“As Israel’s largest high tech company, we want to support the major technological changes emerging across our startup community,” Yaniv Garty, general manager of Intel Israel, said back in June.
“Ignite is an important step in this direction, focused on our efforts to transform the world through working on innovations in AI, autonomous, cyber and next-generation computing. With our advances in these areas, Intel is positioned to help companies charge forward. I’m confident that Intel’s unique expertise in hardware, software, and manufacturing will help the startups grow and succeed,” he added.
Intel employs about 11,000 people in Israel and another 1,000 from the Jerusalem-based autonomous systems company Mobileye which it acquired in 2017 for $15.3 billion. It is considered the largest employer in the high-tech sector.