Spinoffs

Since 2012, the CEET group has been collaborating with Pajarito Powder LLC, a venture-backed, Albuquerque based& start-up company with the goal of commercializing non-PGM ORR catalysts. The main objective is to help reduce the costs of PEM fuel cells and thus assist the fuel cell industry at this pivotal point in fuel cell development. Pajarito Powder Co. (PPC) has examined several leading non-PGM technologies and selected& for commercialization metal-nitrogen-carbon (MNC) technologies generated by the groups involved with a US DOE-EERE project for developing non-PGM ORR catalysts under Northeastern University. PPC had licensed IP from Michigan State University and from UNM. PPC was therefore brought on board as the scale-up partner for the DOE-EERE program. Currently PPC is licensing both exclusively and non-exclusively a substantial part of the UNM fuel cell cathode catalyst portfolio and is engaged in scale up efforts for several catalysts, defined in terms of performance and manufacturability. UNM supports the effort and mitigates the challenges in commercializing this new class of catalysts though a Joint Development Agreement. UNM and PPC have also filed joint US patent Application as a result of this effort.

Two UNM students from our group started companies to commercialize UNM-generated IP in the area of biological (enzymatic) fuel cells. Pucara Engineering is a technology development and consulting company that is engaged in biomedical and environmental engineering projects in Albuquerque area. Pucara Engineering is currently optioning exclusively and non-exclusively IP that allows manufacturing of enzymatic and microbial fuel cell prototypes. Batterade LLC is a company that is focusing on marketing of paper-based enzymatic fuel cells for reserve power sources that can trickle-charge cellular phone batteries when using ubiquitous fuels such as sugars from molasses. Batterade has exclusive option on one of the key UNM device IP in the field.

UNM group works with many other industrial partners: we have funded DOD STTR/SBIR grats with Lynntech Corp., College Station, TX and CFDRC, Huntsville, AL in the area of enzymatic biofuel cell technology. We also have standing proposals with i3, Huntsville Alabama in biological fuel cell design. All these companies are examining UNM IP portfolio for licensing under the standing DOD STTR/SBIR agreements. There are several other companies, not associated with UNM that are currently examining our IP portfolio. We are also working in large DOE-funded consortia where we are engaged with Ballard Power Systems, Nissan Automotive, BASF Catalysts and others. We have standing NDAs with a dozen of worldwide technology leaders in batteries and fuel cells that are helping us to explore both research funding and commercialization strategies.