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RELEASE: Winners Crowned for Global Automotive Innovation Challenge

By Posted on April 23, 2015

Media Contact:
Amanda Roraff


Winners Crowned for Global Automotive Innovation Challenge

DETROIT, April 23, 2015SAE International, in partnership with MIT Alliance of Michigan and NextEnergy, announced the winners of the 7th Annual Global Automotive Innovation Challenge (GAIC) at SAE World Congress.

The winners were selected from four categories:

Category one: Vehicle electrification, V2X and advanced mobility
SiNode Systems, located in Chicago, won the first prize in this category. SiNode Systems develops anode materials to improve lithium-ion batteries with more stability and 3x capacity of competitors and faster charging.

Category two: Advanced materials, sensors, and manufacturing processes
Detroit Materials, located in Wixom, Michigan, took the top prize in this category. Detroit Materials produces advanced steels with excellent combination of strength, toughness, and hardness, and elongation currently only available in the form of highly alloyed and costly exotic steels.

Category three: Infotainment, auto consumer and value chain/business model
RightThereWare, located in Milan, Michigan, won first place in this category. RightThereWare developed a new navigation kernel that ties together dispatching, ride-sharing / load-sharing, routing and ETAs at a fundamental level and “learns” over time with fleet owners having opportunity to grow annual profits 20 percent to 100 percent.

Category four: New high value and disruptive technology innovations
Advanced Battery Concepts, located in Clare, Michigan, was awarded first place in this category. Advanced Battery Concepts developed the GreenSeal® product that improves large-format, energy storage technology which advances the performance and profitability of sealed lead-acid batteries.

Each winner will receive $50,000 worth of business commercialization acceleration services and cash. NextEnergy, MICHAuto, GM Ventures, Franco Public Relations Group, Eisbrenner Public Relations, AutoHarvest, Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA), AutoTech Technology Development, Technology Highway, Quantum Innovations, Quinn Law Group, MMTC, ESG Automotive, Automation Alley, Techstars Mobility, TechTown, BrooksKushman and Michigan Economic Development Corporation are serving as sponsors with some providing cash and/or in-kind business commercialization acceleration services to the winners.

More than 38 companies from all over the world applied to the GAIC, and 12 became finalists during the final pitch event held at NextEnergy on April 2. The 12 finalists included: MagWerksLED, CarKnow, Advanced Battery Concepts, Meiselectric, Detroit Materials, startup team from The Ohio State University, RightThereWare, SiNode Systems, Elegus Technologies, Smarter Shade, Intertwine Corporation and Fulcrum Engineering.

For more information about the Global Automotive Innovation Challenge, visit http://www.nextenergy.org/gaic.

About SAE International
The fundamental purpose of the SAE International is to generate activities that extend SAE benefits to members worldwide. To achieve this, vehicle meetings are presented each year as well as various technical meetings, tours and social events. To promote awareness for future members, the SAE provides support to SAE student chapters at universities. Additionally, individual members are active participants in educational programs for K-12 students. For more information, visit sae.org.

About MIT Alliance of Michigan
MIT Alliance of Michigan works to apply innovation and advancements in science and technology, as well as best practices collaborations in business, academia and government, to benefit Michigan and the Great Lakes states. Working across the 1,100-strong MIT Michigan alumni body (including the Alumni Club of Southeast Michigan, Black Alumni, Sloan School Club and the former Enterprise Forum Great Lakes) and with local, regional, and global thought-leading partner organizations, the MIT Alliance of Michigan plans, coordinates and delivers programming on the leading edge. Our goal is bring big ideas and big / connected people together to address some of the biggest challenges of our time and of our region. For more information, visit mitalliance.org.

About NextEnergy
Founded in 2002 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, NextEnergy is one of the nation’s leading accelerators of advanced energy technologies, businesses and industries. NextEnergy drives technology demonstration and commercialization; delivers industry and venture development services; and provides an authoritative voice in the public sector. Since its inception, NextEnergy has helped attract more than $1.4 billion of new investment in the state of Michigan, including programs in excess of $160 million in which NextEnergy has directly participated. For more information, visit nextenergy.org.