3 Michigan Firms Given Technology Energy Grants


DETROIT — NextEnergy has awarded $295,000 in Michigan Accelerating Technology Energy Grant funds to three Michigan companies: Navitas Advanced Solutions Group, REL Inc., and Temper Inc.

The grants provide matching funds, or cost-share, as well as funding for follow-on commercialization projects, to eligible Michigan businesses and universities applying for federal funding in the area of advanced energy. Launched in 2012 with funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the grants directly support the commercialization process for applied research projects.

“While there are multiple sources of funding for advanced energy research, development and demonstration projects, businesses often struggle to come up with matching funds,” says Jean Redfield, NextEnergy president  and CEO. “The MATch Energy Grant allows us to provide this critical support to deserving organizations, which then helps Michigan companies transform federal funding into job growth for the state of Michigan.”

Navitas Advanced Solutions Group earned a $20,000 grant to support its research on new electrode coating and microwave drying processes for advanced battery cell assembly and production. The grant supports a sub-award through the DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office. Navitas Advanced Solutions Group is based in Ann Arbor and serves as the research and development arm of Navitas Systems — a battery pack system integrator for mobile, military and grid applications, with extensive experience in development and small-scale manufacturing of unique battery materials.

REL Inc., a research and development company located in Calumet in the Upper Peninsula, with extensive capabilities in advanced composite materials, has earned a $175,000 in cost-share and commercialization support for the development of a conformable natural gas tank that can be integrated into the body of a vehicle. The development would eliminate the need to utilize cargo space for gas storage, potentially enabling widespread adoption of compressed natural gas automobiles.

Temper earned $100,000 in MATch Energy Grant commercialization project funds to develop a more energy-efficient molding process for thermoplastic composites. Temper, based in Rockford, focuses on automotive process and tooling research. The grant supports Temper’s work on a project with Boeing funded through the DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office.