Purdue@Westgate Hosts First Battery Innovation Commercialization Forum On The Future Of Startups

(ODON) – The first Battery Innovation Center Commercialization Forum was hosted by Purdue@WestGate on May 7 at WestGate Academy.

The BIC Forum brings together economic development officials, startup founders, engineers and tech leaders in the battery industry from across the nation to collaborate toward accelerating commercialization of leading-edge battery technology.
“We want to learn more about our clients to understand what hurdles startups and companies are facing in their different phases and which resources would best help them move forward,” Ashley Gordon, advanced battery manufacturing team manager at BIC, said in her opening remarks.
During the discussion moderated by James Fleetwood, BIC research director, attendees identified and discussed the top challenges facing battery startups today, including talent pipeline, investment resources, intellectual property delineation, grant translation and networking, and marketing support.
Attendees also took advantage of their diverse perspectives and expertise to discuss their approaches, concerns, and interests in further growing and developing the battery technology industry.
“BIC and other tech hubs have resources and connections that early-stage startups are constantly seeking. We need to better use networking events to connect with other startups, to identify opportunities for synergies, and to harness the collective problem-solving skills that startups can best bring to bear,” said Ted Seo, director of research and development at Volexion.
Ben Wrightsman, president and CEO of the Battery Innovation Center, addressed the potential benefits available to startups joining the BIC-WestGate community in Southern Indiana.
“The BIC team has been working with startups and battery companies to make connections and relationships with end-users. There are over a hundred global firms working with us today and one of BIC’s main focuses is to expand our network and provide collaboration opportunity,” Wrightsman said.
The mission of BIC is to promote advanced learning and education in the energy sector as well as to promote the rapid development, testing, and commercialization of safe, reliable and lightweight energy storage systems for commercial and defense organizations.
“WestGate is home to a potentially powerful combination of assets, including the BIC, Purdue Foundry, Indiana University IP Law Clinic, etc. Plus, we bus startups to Purdue to work with researchers and laboratories,” said Jason Salstrom, director of Purdue@WestGate. “By innovating together, we will help these companies move faster.”
For more information about programs and events at Purdue@WestGate, visit WestGate Technology Hub.
About the Battery Innovation Center
The Battery Innovation Center is a unique public-private partnership and not-for-profit organization that incorporates leadership from commercial enterprises, government organizations, and world-class universities to focus on rapid development, testing, and commercialization of safe, reliable, and lightweight energy storage systems for commercial and defense organizations. Located near NSWC Crane, the BIC provides both a virtual collaborative network of capabilities needed for development of next generation energy storage solutions as well as a state-of-the-art $15.6 million energy research lab and testing facility. The BIC is also home to Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Battery Energy Storage Technology test facility (UL BEST).
About Purdue@WestGate
Purdue@WestGate is an innovation and technology hub connecting communities, universities, organizations and local government entities to support workforce, entrepreneurship and innovation initiatives. Formed through the partnership of WestGate Authority, Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (NSWC Crane), Purdue University and Purdue Research Foundation, the initiative combines institutional strengths to advance educational, research and development and technology commercialization across Indiana and beyond. For more information about the resources available to businesses, visit WestGate website.