November 24, 2015

BASF announces winners of the open innovation contest on energy storage

  • Four research groups each receive prize money of €100,000 for innovative battery concepts
  • Competition is an important part of the co-creation program in BASF’s anniversary year

Ludwigshafen, Germany – November 24, 2015 – The winners of the BASF Energy Contest were announced today at the “Creator SpaceTM Summit” in Ludwigshafen. From 122 applications submitted on the online platform NineSights, a jury of BASF experts and external specialists chose the four best proposals which will be funded with €100.000 each. The winning concepts were developed by the professors Patrik Johansson, Department of Applied Physics at the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, Paul K. Wright and James W. Evans, University of California, Berkeley, Mike Stuart Licht, Department of Chemistry at George Washington University und Xiangwu Zhang, Department of Textile Engineering at North Carolina State University.

The Open Innovation Contest, initiated by BASF at the beginning of February, aims to find ideas for the storage of energy from renewable energy sources. Sustainable technologies should make it possible to store power from the grid and feed power back into it. Together with scientists, inventors and companies, BASF is looking for efficient solutions for the long-term storage of electricity, which are financially viable, for example through lower investment costs. Innovative chemistry was to play a central role in the submitted proposals.

Professor Stuart Licht from George Washington University studies in his project a new type of rechargeable batteries: the molten air battery. It uses a molten salt electrolyte at elevated temperature.  The research group of Professors Paul Wright and James Evans from the University of California, Berkeley, describes a novel rechargeable zinc battery and has already founded a start-up company for its realization. Professor Patrik Johansson from the Chalmers University suggests the usage of abundant aluminum for a sustainable battery technology that directly addresses the need of low-cost concepts. And the research group of Professor Xiangwu Zhang from North Carolina State University presents the concept of high-performance sodium-ion batteries that applies special electrode preparation methods.

With the aim of finding new ideas and contacts, the competition was an important part of the co-creation program BASF launched in its 150th anniversary year. This program, called Creator SpaceTM, consists of innovative formats for virtual and live discussions and also included three science symposia. Through it, new ideas are being collected and discussions on the topics energy, food and urban living initiated. BASF wants to bring people and ideas together to work on solutions for societal challenges. The Open Innovation Contest on energy storage is coordinated by the BASF research unit “Process Research and Chemical Engineering.”

About BASF
At BASF, we create chemistry – and have been doing so for 150 years. Our portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. As the world’s leading chemical company, we combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of over €74 billion in 2014 and around 113,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at


Last Update November 24, 2015