Wilton-based Cadenza Innovation, the pioneering provider of energy storage solutions for license to lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack manufacturers, and Syrah Resources, Limited (ASX code: SYR), a leading industrial minerals and technology company, announced an exclusive, long-term research and development agreement to fuel advancements in graphite anode technology for use in lithium-ion-based energy storage.

Based in Australia, Syrah has the only major, fully funded, natural graphite development project in construction globally. The company is now preparing for the commencement of production. By 2020, Syrah is projected to be the world’s largest individual graphite producer with approximately 40% market share from its Balama operation in Mozambique. Notably, Syrah has a downstream processing facility in development in Louisiana, which will be integral to the company agreement with Cadenza Innovation.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts that adoption of electric vehicles will account for one-third of the global auto fleet by 2040. That, in turn, will fuel exponential growth in demand for graphite production — from 13,000 tons for finished anodes in 2015 to 852,000 tons a year in 2030, for electrified vehicles alone.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cadenza Innovation and Syrah will develop and test advanced battery anode materials and Cadenza will establish an “Office of the CTO” to lead knowledge exchange and deep technical partner and customer engagement as well as support the processing plant Syrah is establishing in Louisiana. Syrah will also embed key personnel within Cadenza Innovation’s research, design and engineering team to develop carbon materials using a natural graphite base.

“As developers — and champions — of safer, higher performing and more sustainable battery technology, we are thrilled to partner with a global leader in graphite,” said Cadenza Innovation founder and CEO Dr. Christina Lampe-Onnerud, who also serves on the Syrah board. “Syrah’s core business tenets align with our foundational design and development principles, and we look forward to a highly successful collaboration in which our team can once again advance the state-of-the-art in lithium-ion technology.”