Where the [Battery] Ball Will Be
Dr. Ann Marie Sastry is one of the rising stars in the American advanced battery firmament. She is not only the founder of lithium-ion battery start-up Sakti3, based on Ann Arbor, Michigan, but also leads the University of Michigan's new advanced battery materials sciences program.
Her company has secured $1.1 million in private capital to build a prototype production plant in Ann Arbor. Sakti3 has also applied for $15 million in federal stimulus dollars. Additionally, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation awarded it the equivalent of a $2.3 million tax break over 10 years. Exactly what the nature of her technology is remains propietary, but in my conversations with her, she stressed the importance of any advanced chemistry being manufacturable. Just because it shows promise in the lab, she explained, doesn't mean it can be commercially producible. Apparently, her firm's approach is and she is working closely with General Motors on streamlining the production process for the next generation of lithium ion cells.
In this short video, she highlights two key points: the need for new technological solutions to address the challenges facing future transportation and the opportunity this presents her graduate students and the larger southeast Michigan, northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio area, where, she claims, 80% of the world's R&D resources are located within 50 miles of metro Detroit.
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