Ravi Daswani, CEO of Global Nano Network and his team moved to offices at University of Warwick Science Park in January 2021 – much later than planned due to COVID – and is aiming to develop ‘green’ battery components using sustainable materials which are kinder to the environment.
His firm moved to UWSP’s Venture Centre as it wanted a UK base close to the UK’s battery supply chain ecosystem.
Now, the team is researching and developing new battery materials for various sectors offering a solution with a better carbon footprint as demand for them increases.
“Our objectives are primarily focused on increasing the sustainability and recyclability of battery technology drawing on our expertise in nanotechnology as a foundation.
“Modern batteries mostly rely on the inclusion of hard metals such as nickel and cobalt, and with demand for batteries being higher than ever, greener batteries will propel sectors such as the smartphone and automotive industries to take greater steps towards a carbon-neutral future.
“It all started in 2017 when we were developing a consumer product which consisted of producing a wearable power bank that could charge mobile device batteries more easily and efficiently than the existing solutions.
“My research partners later started to think about using nanomaterials in batteries themselves to make them more efficient in both power density and recyclability. Our research base was previously in Costa Rica – a country that recently won the accolade of being the first country to become fully carbon-neutral which serves as one of our core inspirations and sits at the centre of our company values.
“Our founding team is incredibly diverse with expertise in various fields that may not seem relevant to battery development on first impression, but it is this diversity that has enabled us to think outside of normal conventions and innovate in various ways.
“For example, our Chief Scientist and Head of Sustainability is a microbiologist whose extensive knowledge in this field has greatly shaped our understanding of the environmental impact certain materials have and the more sustainable alternatives we should explore throughout our research. This diversity gives us an edge and working together often leads to breakthrough solutions.
“We successfully raised the investment we needed to fund our research and development, but we needed to take the next step.
“We asked ourselves where can we access talent and utilise a pre-existing infrastructure for battery manufacturing? And the UK seemed to be the right fit for us.
“The UK government is heavily investing in battery technology, so there is a market there that we can tap into.
“And with UKBIC being just outside Coventry, with the Faraday Institute not too far away in Didcot, UWSP with its links to the University of Warwick seemed perfect.
“We relocated permanently in January 2021, which was far later than planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic but we re-evaluated and rescheduled our development plan accordingly that allowed us to maintain the strong position we’re in.
“Relocating to the University of Warwick Science Park was a significant undertaking for the company, it required incredible commitment from our teams in North and Central America to relocate their entire lives and families to the UK.
“It’s a big undertaking for anyone but to commit to such a big change in the midst of a global pandemic shows the belief and determination our team has to achieving our goals.
“So far, it’s been great. Despite what is involved in moving to a new country, I’m pleased to say everyone has settled in very quickly. The space at the Venture Centre is great for our needs and we’re delighted with the way it’s been set up for us and with the service we’ve already received.
“The Business Ready team have given us great advice in applying successfully for grant funding, which has helped our cash flow forecasting, and being so close to numerous tech companies has allowed us to collaborate and discuss ideas with new people while we are onsite.
“I’m confident we will create greener batteries that will help numerous sectors power their products and we’re counting on the support from the Science Park, the ecosystem of battery manufacturing nearby, our links to the University, and the UK government.
“We’re in the right space at the right time, and I’m feeling very confident about our future.”