Spreadable supercapacitors for the mobility of the future

“In today’s world of innovation, there are no discounts: if you have an idea and you want people to like it, it has to be linked to sustainability.” Matteo Bertocchi, 28 years old, is one of the co-founders of Novac, a startup , founded in 2018 at the University of Modena as part of an inspiring course: TACC, Training for Automotive Companies Creation. The students were asked to imagine a startup in the mobility sector. With just one essential note: the project had to be original and surprising. Bertocchi and his three fellow students – Loris Bruzzi, Alessandro Fabbri and Aldo Girimonte, mechanical, materials and electronics engineers – worked on a new model of supercapacitor to be combined with the batteries of electric vehicles, from hypercars to small cars to scooters on bicycles to extend their service life: By storing energy, they give a boost of power when needed and are recharged in an environmentally friendly way. In 2021, Novac was selected among the 8 startups of the Motor Valley Accelerator program in Modena, proving to be one of the most promising companies in the program.

Matteo Bertocchi, 28 years old. With partners Alessandro Fabbri, Aldo Girimonte and Loris Bruzzi, he founded Novac, of which he is CEO. The startup is active in the supercap world.

In these five years, with over 400,000 euros raised between institutional investors and prizes and after a long research and development process, Novac has filed two patents on a mixture of materials that could undermine the supercapacitor sector: “Today they are bulky, expensive and. “Dangerous because they are flammable. In general, they are not very sustainable and are therefore boycotted. Our invention is instead a solid-state supercap made from non-toxic and more readily available materials such as copper and manganese: we gave it the consistency of a powder using 3D printing, so it can literally be spread anywhere needed . It is not as cumbersome as previous systems and it is safe.” The prototype will be ready by the middle of the year: by then, the first applications can be tested in collaboration with interested partners, companies active in the areas of intelligent mobility and aerospace are, “but also in the supercar industry, which is increasingly interested in switching to electric ».

During the analysis and study phase, Matteo Bertocchi and his partners came across possible ancillary applications: “I’m talking about batteries and fuel cells to make the sector even more sustainable.” Research is fundamental: that’s why we will become our new laboratory for external students and scientists open. Together we can achieve new goals faster.”

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