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Article updated: 5/16/2013 9:53 AM

Woodridge's Navitas receives $150K award from Energy Department


Woodridge-based Navitas Systems LLC has received a Small Business Innovation Research award of $150,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy.

It marks the first SBIR award competed for and received by Navitas, a small, woman-owned business, which provides energy-enabled system solutions and energy storage products for commercial, industrial and government agency customers.

"Navitas Systems is delighted to receive this award from the DOE," said CEO Nancie ElShafei, CEO. "Our company is a rarity, being a small business but with a big company staff of world class battery researchers and engineers gained from our acquisition of the Government R&D division of A123 Systems earlier this year.

"We're uniquely positioned to successfully execute SBIR grants as well as supply large corporations who have small business set-asides with our advanced energy storage products and systems," ElShafei added.

Dr. Michael Wixom, Navitas' point person driving the collaborative efforts between Navitas and the DOE Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), said, silicon-based materials have emerged as the anode of the future for lithium ion batteries.

"Since silicon-based anodes can hold ten times the number of ions compared to graphite anodes widely in use in lithium batteries," Wixom said. "Yet, progress toward commercial deployment has been hindered by limited cycle life, expensive precursors and non-scalable processes. Limited cycle life in particular prohibits silicon anodes from being used for electric vehicle batteries which are used daily over many years.

"We look forward to utilizing this award toward our continued efforts on solving the problems of this promising battery technology, which can be applied to anything from electric vehicles to smartphones," he added.

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