Cleveland, Ohio: Jan 1, 2018 – Octet Scientific has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant for $225,000 to conduct research and development work on new chemicals to help commercialize Zinc-air batteries.

Zinc-air batteries are cheaper and safer than lithium-ion and have the potential to hold more than twice the energy, but they don’t last as long due to complications during recharging. Realizing that the recharging step is very similar to metal electroplating, Octet Scientific and its partner Prof. Rohan Akolkar of Case Western Reserve University have drawn upon their experience in that field to attack the problem from a new angle: with a promising host of new chemicals inspired by additives used in the electroplating industry. The team will use this NSF funding to further develop their chemical additives to solve the recharging problem and provide a path to zinc-air batteries that can compete with lithium-ion.

“The National Science Foundation supports small businesses with the most innovative, cutting-edge ideas that have the potential to become great commercial successes and make huge societal impacts,” said Barry Johnson, Director of the NSF’s Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships. “We hope that this seed funding will spark solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time across all areas of science and technology.”

“Zinc-air batteries could extend electric vehicle range, provide cheaper grid storage for renewables, and power longer-lasting small devices all while being cheaper and less dangerous than lithium-ion. We believe that we can overcome the few remaining hurdles by taking a focused approach to developing new additive chemistry specifically for this technology,” says Octet Founder, Onas Bolton.

Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant, it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II grant (up to $750,000). Small businesses with Phase II grants are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales.

NSF accepts Phase I proposals from small businesses twice annually in June and December. Small businesses with innovative science and technology solutions, and commercial potential are encouraged to apply. All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program undergo a rigorous merit-based review process.
To read the project abstract, visit the NSF.

To learn more about Octet’s battery work, contact us at:

To learn more about the NSF SBIR/STTR program, visit:

About the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Programs: The National Science Foundation (NSF) awards roughly $200 million annually to startups and small businesses through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. The non-dilutive grants support research and development (R&D) across almost all areas of science and technology helping companies de-risk technology for commercial success. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $7 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.