Building on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s NY-SUN initiative and energy superhighway blueprint, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany announced today that it has entered into a licensing agreement with its first student spin-off company, B.E.S.S. Technologies (B.E.S.S.), which will allow B.E.S.S. to commercialize and begin scale-up of its innovative battery storage technology, enabling homegrown high-tech growth in upstate New York.
“As further testament to the vision and leadership of Governor Andrew Cuomo in supporting an innovation-driven economic development model, this licensing agreement with B.E.S.S. Technologies provides a critical path to commercialization for an emerging green energy company that got its start at the UAlbany NanoCollege,” said CNSE Professor and Vice President for Clean Energy Programs Dr. Pradeep Haldar. “This agreement with CNSE’s first student-led company demonstrates the potent combination of CNSE’s world-class education, training, and technological resources, and its ability to enable the birth and expansion of start-up companies in the globally competitive nanotechnology industry.”
“B.E.S.S. Technologies is delighted to enter into a licensing agreement with the UAlbany NanoCollege that will pave the way to commercialize and bring to market our unique technology,” said B.E.S.S. Technologies CEO Fernando Gómez-Baquero. “Having access to world-class education and training as students, along with the intellectual and technological resources at CNSE, has given B.E.S.S. a tremendous advantage, and we look forward to advancing our technology and growing our company right here in New York State.”
B.E.S.S., which stands for Battery Energy Storage Systems, is a component design and engineering firm started by a group of CNSE graduate students in 2010. Working at CNSE’s Albany NanoTech Complex, B.E.S.S. developed an innovative process to build nanostructures which offer significantly increased energy storage capacity, faster charging rates, and a longer lifetime for lithium-ion batteries.
In addition to this licensing agreement, B.E.S.S. will have continued access to the world-class cleanrooms, laboratories and tooling at CNSE, providing further stability as the company grows. It also allows for greater operating clarity, increasing the likelihood that B.E.S.S. will attract additional funding from investors and venture capitalists.
CNSE has already assisted B.E.S.S. in obtaining more than $800,000 in funding through technology programs offered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Partnerships for Innovation program.
B.E.S.S. is one of 15 companies working with CNSE’s Incubators for Collaborating & Leveraging Energy and Nanotechnology, or iCLEAN incubator, which provides technical incubation assistance, including investment, legal and insurance contacts, mentoring, and other start-up business support. BESS also captured first place in the inaugural New York Business Plan Competition held at CNSE in 2010, earning $19,000 in cash and in-kind services for its next-generation battery storage technology.