Shell adds three new companies to startup accelerator programme


Global energy company Shell has announced three new companies that will be participating in a programme designed to help startups to further develop and commercialise innovative clean energy technologies.

The new companies set to participate in the Shell GameChanger Accelerator programme are focused on creating electrochemical systems that can help reduce carbon emissions in hard-to-decarbonise sectors.

Shell’s startups initiative (GCxN) is now in its fourth cohort and is supported by the US Department of Energy (DoE)’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

The new startups include:

  • Air Company (Brooklyn) – The startup is developing a technology capable of transforming carbon dioxide captured from the air into impurity-free alcohols for spirits, fragrances, sanitizers and a variety of consumer industries, as well as for carbon-negative fuel in the long-term.
  • Ionomr Innovations (Vancouver, B.C.) – Developing ion-exchange membranes and polymers used for electrochemical applications in order to reduce the use of cost-prohibitive and toxic materials. Applications include green hydrogen production, hydrogen fuel cells and carbon capture and utilisation (CCU).
  • Versogen (Wilmington, Del.) – Innovating and producing high-performing hydroxide exchange membranes for a variety of applications, such as lowering the production costs of fuel cells.

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Katie Richardson, GCxN programme manager at NREL, said: “Almost every aspect of our modern lives depends on certain materials and fuels, but with great consequence. For example, the American manufacturing industry is on-track to become the nation’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions within the next ten years.

“The selected GCxN startups are restructuring essential building blocks to reduce the carbon impact of essential goods and services.”

Haibin Xu, Shell’s GCxN programme manager, adds: “GCxN’s fourth cohort will help prove that electrochemistry technologies can replace carbon-intensive legacy processes. As renewable energy costs continue to drop, cross-industry initiatives and partnerships will prove that it’s possible to cost-effectively scale these technology applications and achieve real-world impact.”

The three companies have been nominated by the programme’s network partners of more than 60 cross-industry cleantech incubators, accelerators and universities—before undergoing in-depth review by Shell and NREL.

The three companies will leverage NREL’s state-of-the-art research capabilities and receive up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding to further develop their technologies.

The aim of the programme is to support research, development and commercialisation of technologies that can dramatically alter the future global energy landscape.