Safran takes stake in lithium-sulphur cell company

Posted on 10 Mar 2019 and read 643 times
Safran takes stake in lithium-sulphur cell companyFrance’s Safran (www.safran-group.com) has acquired an equity interest in Oxfordshire-based OXIS Energy through its Safran Corporate Ventures subsidiary, which invests in ‘disruptive technology’ businesses.

OXIS — a leader in lithium-sulphur cell technology for high-energy-density battery systems — has already been granted 173 patents, with 96 pending.

It is benefitting from more than 15 years of R&D in the field of lithium-sulphur chemistry, and interest in its work from different industry sectors is reported to be growing significantly.

Safran Corporate Ventures is participating in a £7 million round of fresh funding for OXIS, alongside Aerotec and new investors that include Arkema. The investments made by these companies take the total capital raised to just under £24 million.

This will be used to commercialise and automate the process of mass-producing rechargeable lithium-sulphur cells/modules (using ‘state of the art’ digital manufacturing machinery) for world-wide distribution to vehicle manufacturers.

OXIS intends to focus on the aviation, defence and heavy-electric-vehicle markets, such as buses and trucks.

OXIS has also announced the signing oftwo Joint Development Agreements with its partners. Firstly, Safran and OXIS will co-operate on high-energy-density battery cells for the aviation industry.

Alain Sauret, Safran Electrical & Power CEO, said: “This technology co-operation is emblematic of Safran’s strategy in hybrid propulsion solutions.

"Safran is already at the cutting edge of this field, and it is considering using OXIS cells in some of its products in order to offer a level of performance that sets us apart from the competition.

"The agreements will enable the two companies to pool skills and effectively transform both R&D activities into disruptive products for our clients in aerospace.”

Secondly, Arkema and OXIS have defined a ‘common road-map’ to further improve battery life and energy density.

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