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July 13, 2021 | Tom Ballard

Eonix secures Phase I SBIR from the National Science Foundation

By Kailyn Lamb, Marketing Content Writer and Editor, PYA

Eonix, a start-up researching batteries and a member of Cohort 2 of “Innovation Crossroads,” recently received a $256,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). We talked with Founder Don DeRosa to learn more.

The grant is for a one-year project, said DeRosa. He will continue to do research out of the Spark Innovation Center lab space trying to create an anode-free lithium-ion battery.

“We’re going to be straining dozens of chemistries to make it possible with the system we developed at Oak Ridge National Lab originally,” he said, referring to his “Innovation Crossroads” research.

DeRosa is aiming to have a battery that charges in 30 minutes and will have a 35 percent increase in energy density. The cost of the battery is $70 or lower per kilowatt hour. “That’s all stemming from the fact that there’s no anode on there,” he said.

In addition to the lab space DeRosa uses at Spark, he recently rented additional office space at the University of Tennessee Research Foundation Business Incubator. Besides being an affordable space, DeRosa said it’s optimal because of its proximity to Spark. The UT space has room for three employees.

Launch Tennessee also recently announced that matching funds for SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards have been reinstated in the state budget (read more in this article). Because DeRosa received an STTR from the U.S. Air Force AFWERX program (read more in this article), he is eligible to apply for matching funds later this month.

“We are very excited at the prospect of being able to further catalyze the development of our technology with funding and support from the SBIR matching funds in Tennessee,” he said. “I think that will help us hire additional people, accelerate the development of this product, and hopefully bring us to market and allow us to manufacture it stateside quicker.”

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