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Five start-ups selected to participate in Shell Gamechanger Accelerator Powered by NREL

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Global Mining Review,

The Shell GameChanger AcceleratorTM Powered by NREL (GCxN), a multi-million dollar programme developed in collaboration between Shell GameChanger and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), has selected five startups to participate in the programme’s fifth cohort. GCxN provides promising early-stage cleantech start-ups with resources to accelerate product commercialisation while de-risking investment.

The selected start-ups are focused on decarbonising industrial processes through innovative energy storage and heating technologies, as well as optimising electric vehicle charging through hardware and software solutions. The fifth GCxN cohort includes:

  • Alumina Energy (Santa Monica, California: Developing modular energy storage systems that can be incorporated with thermal generation systems to improve operational flexibility, increase capacity, and reduce fuel consumption as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
  • BattGenie (Seattle, Washington): Providing cutting-edge battery management software solutions that enable safer, longer-lasting and faster charging lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.
  • Electrified Thermal Solutions (Medford, Massachusetts): Developing energy storage technology built on a novel joule-heating system that converts zero-carbon electricity into heat, which can be used to replace fossil fuels in industrial processes.
  • Induction Food Systems (Durham, North Carolina): Creating the first scalable, precise, and efficient inline heating solution for food and beverage manufacturers, eliminating the complexities, costs and greenhouse gas emissions of conventional steam heating.
  • Resonant Link (Shelburne, Vermont): Manufacturing high-performance wireless chargers for electric vehicle fleets to be used while they operate, providing both higher power and lower costs.

“The potential impact of decarbonising industrial processes like cement and steel is massive, but the levels of heat required makes this notoriously difficult,” said Johanna Jamison, GCxN Programme Manager at NREL. “NREL and Shell are working with the newly selected GCxN companies to commercialise technology solutions and address this problem.”

“Electric vehicles are critical for decarbonising the transportation sector but charging requirements remain a major barrier to wide-scale customer adoption, and the associated increase in demand for electricity poses risks to the electric grid,” said Yesim Jonsson, Shell’s GCxN Programme Manager. “The companies in GCxN’s fifth cohort are developing technologies that will improve the efficiency and safety of electric vehicle charging, which can ensure continued vehicle electrification to reach climate targets.”

GCxN start-ups are referred by the programme’s network partners – more than 60 cross-industry cleantech incubators, accelerators and universities – before undergoing in-depth review by Shell and NREL. Participating companies benefit from NREL’s state-of-the-art research capabilities, receive up to US$250 000 in non-dilutive funding, and have access to networking opportunities through NREL's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center.

Participating start-ups have raised more than US$70 million of funding to date, representing a US$20 leverage ratio for each dollar of GCxN fund-ing. Portfolio companies have also hired 51 new employees since GCxN programme onboarding.

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