Award Name: Microbattery Design Prize Phase I Selections 

Office: Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office 

Award Amount: $600,000 with performance and safety testing services 

Description

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced awards for eight new designs for microbatteries, through phase 1 of the Microbattery Design Prize. This prize aims to accelerate the commercialization of these innovative microbattery designs, along with their integration into the existing technologies needed for clean energy manufacturing.  

In this first ‘Ideas’ phase, competitors developed and submitted technical designs and schematics for microbatteries that serve a specific application (like a grid monitoring devices) and meet certain performance goals (like a specific storage capacity, cycle lifetime, safety, or recyclability) that go beyond what is commercially available today.  

In addition to automatically advancing to phase two of this prize, each of the eight selected project will receive an award consisting of $75,000 in a cash prize along with performance and safety testing services with DOE National Laboratories. 

Projects:  

NUMBER OF PHASE 1 WINNERS:

NUMBER OF STATES CONTAINING SELECTED PROJECTS: 

FEDERAL FUNDING AMOUNT: $600,000 

Project Name: AUDIANCE, Inc. 

Award Amount: $75,000 

Location: East Greenwich, RI 

Description:  

The AUDIANCE, Inc. team is building a microbattery to power implantable medical devices, like cochlear impacts. The team’s design, which consists of uniquely shaped electrodes and a safe gel electrolyte, could be rechargeable as well as safer and longer lasting than current technologies.

Project Name: Bioechem LLC

Location: Boston, MA 

Award Amount: $75,000 

Description: 

Bioechem is designing a “biological battery,” built with a novel microorganism, that will power underwater sensors. Because it can be dangerous to use lithium batteries in underwater animal tracking sensors, Bioechem’s non-lithium battery is a safer option as well as lightweight, renewable, and affordable.

Project Name: Drexel Nanomaterials Institute 

Location: Philadelphia, PA 

Award Amount: $75,000 

Description: 

Drexel Nanomaterials Institute is developing printed lithium-ion microbatteries for hearing aids. Their design could provide the over 1.5 billion people who experience hearing loss worldwide with smaller and lighter hearing aid devices which can charge faster and last longer. 

Project Name: Ensurge Micropower, Inc. 

Location: San Jose, CA 

Award Amount: $75,000 

Description: 

The Ensurge Micropower, Inc. team is designing an affordable, long-lasting microbattery for microelectronics, like hearables and wearables. Their solid-state microbattery uses solid rather than liquid electrolyte, making it a safer option, and comes in customizable sizes, so manufacturers can create the shape they need for their device. 

Project Name: Ionic Devices 

Location: College Park, Maryland 

Award Amount: $75,000 

Description: 

Ionic Devices is a new start-up working on a solid-state battery that leverages thin film manufacturing processes from the semiconductor industry and is safer than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Their design could offer a lower cost, more environmentally friendly battery that can store more energy at a time. 

Project Name: MORENERGY 

Location: Rolla, Missouri 

Award Amount: $75,000 

Description: 

The MORENERGY team is designing a lithium-ion microbattery that could improve current hearing aid technologies, enabling them to last longer, be rechargeable (or recharge faster), and come in smaller sizes. Their microbattery’s design innovation gives it the ability to store more energy in a smaller package, which could also give hearing aids additional functionality, like Bluetooth connection. 

Project Name: Power 3D 

Location: Pittsburgh, PA 

Award Amount: $75,000 

Description: 

The Power 3D team is improving on their novel method of creating energy dense batteries using 3D printed electrodes. Such electrodes can build next generation wearable electronics that can last longer and charge faster than the products available today. 

Project Name: XTemp Quanta  

Location: Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

Award Amount: $75,000 

Description: 

The XTemp Quanta team is creating a 3D-printed microbattery that can withstand extreme temperatures and has five times the capacity of similar sized batteries. Their design uses lithium-ion phosphate, a more sustainable option than cobalt.  

More Information