Vaulta, the Brisbane-based company making recyclable and repairable high-performance batteries, has made its presence felt at the inaugural Supercharge Australia Innovation Challenge Awards.
The Supercharge Australia Innovation Challenge aims to support lithium battery innovation in Australia by accelerating the development of export-oriented start-ups with a place in the lithium battery value chain.
Vaulta, which uses advanced composite materials and smart, streamlined design to make recyclable, high-performance batteries that are suitable for any project, was one of 11 companies from around Australia chosen to participate in the Supercharge Australia Innovation Challenge.
The challenge matched start-ups with established industry experts and investors for a six-week acceleration experience. Following the six-week challenge, participants met with highly qualified Australian and international judges for a pitch, interview and Q&A, before the winners were announced at an event hosted by Dan Ilic in Sydney.
Vaulta placed fourth in the challenge. Vaulta founder and director Dominic Spooner says the placement was a great outcome for his company, which designs, assembles and tests its batteries at its manufacturing facility in Brisbane.
“We’re thrilled with this result,” he says, “and we’re excited to be included among a diverse range of companies – from developers of novel cell chemistries to electric vehicle up-scalers and critical metals recyclers – that all have a key role to play in the development of a world-leading battery ecosystem here in Australia.”
Australia produces almost 60 per cent of the world’s lithium, but retains less than 1 per cent of its US$400 billion annual product value, with 98 per cent of the lithium mined in Australia currently being refined overseas.
The Supercharge Australia project is a collaboration between two not-for-profit organisations – New Energy Nexus, a global clean energy start-up accelerator, and EnergyLab, Australia’s largest climate tech start-up accelerator – that aims to bolster a vibrant national battery value chain.
Danny Kennedy, CEO of New Energy Nexus and Managing Director of the California Clean Energy Fund, says the battery technology being developed in Australia compares favourably to innovations being made overseas.
“Australian innovators are uniquely placed to supply emerging and mature global markets with low impact lithium products and resources to support our energy transition with better batteries,” he says.
Megan Fisher, CEO of EnergyLab, agrees that Australia is well-positioned to capture the full value of the battery and electrification revolution.
“Australia can become a leader in lithium battery technology, from sourcing to advanced battery and EV manufacturing, and capture massive market opportunities as the world electrifies,” she says.
“But to do this, we need much more activity across all phases of the lithium battery value chain, and this requires more investment and more start-ups to meet the innovation challenge.”
The strong result for Vaulta at the Supercharge Australia Innovation Challenge comes shortly after the release of the Battery Industry Opportunities for Queensland discussion paper, which listed Vaulta amongst a select group of Queensland companies with the capabilities required to develop a leading battery industry in Queensland.