The University of Connecticut and Wilton-based Cadenza Innovation announced a long-term research agreement to advance the use of graphite for lithium-ion batteries.

The three-year engagement is spearheaded by UConn’s Dr. Radenka Maric, principal investigator on the project, and Dr. Christina Lampe-Onnerud, Cadenza Innovation’s founder and CEO.

Global demand for more and better batteries is fueling efforts to identify materials that can help next-generation energy storage fulfill those requirements. Graphite is considered one of the most promising. Used in batteries now, there’s substantial opportunity to improve on the role it plays in providing higher energy density, a press release from Cadenza Innovation said.

Lampe-Onnerud sits on the board of what will soon be the world’s largest provider of graphite, Syrah Resources, and Cadenza Innovation, through a joint development and research partnership, is working with Syrah Resources to help qualify its graphite for use in batteries. Dr. Maric’s lab, staff and students at UConn’s Center for Clean Energy Engineering, in turn, are collaborating as part of the process.