SOLiTHOR, the newly created spin-off company from imec partner in the top European energy R&D innovation hub Energyville is spearheading the development, manufacturing and commercialisation of innovative solid-state lithium (Li) battery cell technology to reliably and economically offer high energy storage solutions. SOLiTHOR raised €10M in a seed investment round led by imec.xpand supported by a strong investment syndicate including LRM, Nuhma and FPIM. The proceeds will be used to develop the technology required to enable further electrification of our transport industry with solutions that address current issues in autonomy, performance, longevity and safety.
Solid-state batteries intend to bring the performance of classical battery systems to the next level in terms of energy density, charging speed, weight and volume. Their adoption has not taken off so far due to significant manufacturability hurdles. Imec has invested for 10 years in new technology to further boost the performance of solid-state batteries, whilst proposing components enabling an assembly process that is more compatible with classical Li-ion batteries assembly lines.
Huw Hampson-Jones, Founder and CEO of SOLiTHOR, said: “SOLiTHOR’s technology is unique and is based on breakthrough chemistry and components the nano-Solid Composite Electrolyte and the nano-anode, developed within the EnergyVille labs and patented by imec. This revolutionary technology will improve energy density, charging speeds and crucially, increase safety and will be far easier to manufacture than other solid-state batteries. The Research and Development program will be led by Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Dr Fanny Bardé, a seasoned expert in battery technology, together with imec’ s R&D teams.”
“We are delighted to see SOLiTHOR bringing some of our most promising technologies to the market. We believe SOLiTHOR is on a path to unleash the great potential of this technology for the society: contribute to the reduction of our carbon footprint through further electrification of our transport, and also contribute to Europe’s strategic positioning and independence in the energy sector. SOLiTHOR will impact our local economy thanks to the expected establishment of manufacturing activities to serve its customers globally,” says Olivier Rousseaux, Director Venture Development at imec.
“Imec.xpand helps to create innovative technological companies that have the potential to become global players by disrupting the domain they are active in. SOLiTHOR is a perfect example of an ambitious company in a domain of strategic importance for the region and the continent,” says Peter Vanbekbergen, partner at imec.xpand.
SOLiTHOR has the ambition to become a global leader in solid-state battery technology. It intends to become a key provider in the European Battery Value chain and aims to strongly contribute to European exports by supplying worldwide markets and the decarbonisation of society.
SOLiTHOR is pioneering the design, development and the commercialization of intrinsically safe, high-energy solid-state lithium cell technology. Its team of international scientists is based at Leuven and Energyville in Genk where it leverages the battery pilot line and dry room. Having accessed a strong intellectual property portfolio from imec, the company already has access to over 20 personnel of the highest calibre.
Imec (imec-int.com) is a world-leading research and innovation center in nanoelectronics, digital technologies and energy. Imec leverages its state-of-the-art R&D infrastructure and its team of more than 5,000 employees and top researchers, for R&D in advanced semiconductor and system scaling, silicon photonics, artificial intelligence, beyond 5G communications and sensing technologies, and in application domains such as health and life sciences, mobility, industry 4.0, agrofood, smart cities, sustainable energy, education, … Imec unites world-industry leaders across the semiconductor value chain, Flanders-based and international tech, pharma, medical and ICT companies, start-ups, and academia and knowledge centers. Imec is headquartered in Leuven (Belgium), and has research sites across Belgium, in the Netherlands, and the USA, and offices in China, India, Taiwan and Japan. In 2021, imec's revenue (P&L) totaled 732 million euro.
Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of imec International (IMEC International, a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a “stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.), imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.), imec India (IMEC India Private Limited), imec San Francisco (IMEC Inc.) and imec Florida (IMEC USA Nanoelectronics Design Center Inc.).
EnergyVille (energyville.be) is a collaboration between the Belgian research partners KU Leuven (kuleuven.be), VITO (vito.be), imec (imec-int.com) and UHasselt (uhasselt.be) in the fields of sustainable energy and intelligent energy systems. EnergyVille develops technology and knowledge to support public and private stakeholders in the transition to an energy efficient, decarbonised and sustainable urban environment. The unique complementarity of the research partners allows us to integrate the energy system value chain in its entirety, ranging from materials and components to the level of entire energy systems, business models and strategies. Our activities are clustered in eight interdisciplinary domains: solar energy, battery storage, power electronics, Power-to-Molecules, thermal systems, electrical networks, energy for buildings and districts, and energy strategy and markets.
With approximately 400 researchers and state-of-the-art research facilities, EnergyVille is a top European innovation hub in the energy field. It bundles research, development and training under one roof and collaborates closely with local, regional, national and international partners from industry as well as public authorities.
As an energy R&D innovation hub, located in the industry-oriented ecosystem of Thor Park (Genk, Belgium), EnergyVille offers an attractive environment for energy research, industrial product development and business creation. The collaboration is supported by the city of Genk, the Province of Limburg, LRM, Nuhma, POM Limburg and the European structural funds.