IKERLAN and BEABLE CAPITAL create BATTBELT to revolutionise the energy storage sector thanks to smart materials
BATTBELT is a new technology-based company developing mechanical management systems for batteries capable of extending their useful life by 30 %.
- It will base its activity on an IKERLAN patent on intelligent materials.
- Electric mobility and the integration of renewable energies will be the two main sectors that will benefit from this development.
Taking science from the laboratory to the market, that is the challenge facing BATTBELT, a new spin-off of the Basque technology centre IKERLAN that will develop mechanical management systems for batteries capable of extending their useful life by 30 %, created in collaboration with BeAble Capital, a fund management company specialising in Science Equity. This new technology-based company will base its activity on an IKERLAN patent on intelligent materials, breaking into a practically virgin market, as there are hardly any companies in Europe that are bringing to market products that exploit the intelligent properties of materials, and none along the lines proposed by this new company.
BATTBELT, exclusively owned by IKERLAN and BeAble Capital, will focus in its first year of activity on validating the viability of the product under the technological management of Javier Zurbitu, and will be located at IKERLAN's facilities in Arrasate-Mondragón (Gipuzkoa).
How the technology works
BATTBELT's technology is based on the development of products that help to extend the lifetime of lithium batteries from a mechanical management point of view, without compromising their energy density or cost. Furthermore, the systems developed leave the door open to be integrated in the near future in emerging technologies such as solid-state batteries currently under development.
Electrical energy storage batteries expand and contract with each charge-discharge cycle, increasing in size as they age. Lithium batteries currently used in sectors such as mobility or energy are made up of individual cells stacked together and require a certain level of compression between them for optimal performance. Continuous expansion and contraction negatively affect the charging capacity of the batteries and their lifetime. Existing technology does not allow the degree of compression and its evolution to be controlled, as research carried out by the specialised industry in recent years has focused on product development from the point of view of optimising thermal management. However, BATTBELT's mechanical management systems for batteries focus on the use of intelligent materials that overcome these problems.
"This allows the cells to always be in a comfortable situation from a mechanical point of view," explains Javier Zurbitu, CEO of BATTBELT. "It's about developing an innovative technology that allows us to make a tailor-made and adaptive suit for the batteries," he adds. In this way, it is estimated that the useful life of the batteries will be improved without increasing costs and preserving their energy density.
IKERLAN and BeAble Capital Alliance
IKERLAN and BeAble Capital share the same vision of technology: that it should be at the service of the industrial fabric to respond to society's challenges. The Basque technology centre is a reference in knowledge transfer to industry, while the fund management company identifies and supports innovative and profitable solutions that respond to the challenges facing society, creating an internationally competitive value industry.
Almudena Trigo, President and founding partner of BeAble Capital, comments: "We are very excited to welcome BATTBELT to the BeAble family, whose technology we believe is disruptive and necessary, as it is capable of extending the life of batteries by using the intelligent properties of materials. We believe that this company has a great future ahead of it, and that its applications in mobility and renewables will be very useful for these sectors.
BeAble Capital has already founded more than 30 Spanish science-based companies in the fields of nanotechnology, advanced materials, photonics, micro and nanoelectronics, industrial biotechnology and advanced computing, and has increased the generation of science-based industrial companies in Spain by more than 10 %.
For IKERLAN, the alliance with BeAble Capital responds to a strategy to exploit new ways of valorising the knowledge generated from its lines of research in the form of technological assets that can be transferred to the market through the generation of new technology-based companies.
The IKERLAN technology centre has more than 20 years' experience in energy storage systems, mainly in lithium-ion batteries. It currently has a research team of more than 30 people working specifically on this technology, which is also supported by other technologies such as mechanics, electronics and ICT. IKERLAN leads European projects in this area with the main centres and companies in the sector in Europe.
IKERLAN is a leading centre in technology transfer and in the contribution of competitive value to industry. It offers integral solutions combining different technological domains in two large areas: on the one hand, Electronics, Information and Communication Technologies (EICT) and, on the other, Energy and Mechatronics. The technology centre currently has a team of 420 people and has sites in Arrasate-Mondragón, Donostialdea and Bilbao. As a cooperative member of the MONDRAGON Corporation and the Basque Research and Technology Alliance (BRTA), IKERLAN represents a sustainable, competitive business model in permanent transformation. In 2024 IKERLAN will be 50 years old and remains faithful to its founding objective: to develop technology to improve the innovation and competitiveness of the companies in its environment.
About BeAble Capital
Spain's leading Science Equity firm: technology transfer in Deep Science. Based in Madrid, but with a global vocation, it invests in strategic and fundamental sectors, such as new materials, nanotechnology, photonics and biotechnology. BeAble Capital selects the best technologies emerging from research centres and universities, accompanying them from very early stages, so that they can make the leap from the laboratory to industry. Health, wellbeing and the environment are its priority areas when selecting these disruptive technologies that solve unmet needs. Technologies aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, focusing on the major challenges facing humanity.