The incubator is expected to attract up to 30 battery companies in California who can tap researchers and use equipment at Berkeley Lab and other research institutions.
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and non-profit California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) have started CalCharge, a US-based incubator for battery technology. The incubator is expected to attract up to 30 battery companies in California who can tap researchers and use equipment at Berkeley Lab and other research institutions, participate in seminars and forums, recruit engineers and other employees and network with each other to trade information. Dan Adler, CalCEF’s president, said: "To broadly scale renewable energy requires tackling the challenges of energy storage, and no technical community is better suited to those challenges than California’s battery engineers and scientists." California has more than 30 start-ups and large companies concentrated in the San Francisco Bay Area and the state had 258 battery technology patent registrations from 2008 to 2010-more than the next three leading states combined, according to the 2012 California Green Innovation Index, an annual economic filing published by Next 10. Last year, venture capital investment in energy storage grew 13-fold over the previous year, making up 11% of the total VC investment in clean technology for the state. Venkat Srinivasan, head of Berkeley Lab’s energy storage research program, said: "The Berkeley Lab battery program, long known for its deep expertise in solving the problems in advanced batteries, is ideally positioned to work with battery companies in the region. We look forward to building this ecosystem with CalCharge."