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Manawatu Investment Group backs battery technology

Manawatu Investment Group backs Massey battery technology

Manawatu investors have given a significant funding boost to commercialise leading research from Massey University.

The Manawatu Investment Group (MIG), established earlier this year [2007] by The Bio Commerce Centre (BCC), has put a sizable seven-figure sum into Anzode Inc, a fledgling company that is developing a revolutionary zinc battery technology.

The new technology was developed by Michael Liu and Simon Hall in the Institute of Fundamental Sciences during Dr Liu’s PhD research under Associate Professor Hall’s supervision. Together they created a rechargeable battery that uses zinc, a perfect material for battery electrodes as it is cheap, plentiful and efficient. This is the first time that zinc can be widely-used in rechargeable rather than single-use batteries.

Massey signed a commercialisation deal with Anzode which grants the company exclusive rights to the technology. The company runs a laboratory in NZ but has its main office in the United States to be close to the potential market. The battery will be used in a number of applications including hybrid vehicles.

Anzode Chief Executive and Massey alumni Chris Officer says “The investors have recognised that we’ve have exciting next generation technology combined with an excellent market proposition.” Mr. Officer added that “Anzode is delighted to keep the Manawatu connection very strong.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Academic, Nigel Long says: “We have had wonderful support from Dean Tilyard and his team at The Bio Commerce Centre. They have fully supported the third party investment in this Massey University initiative, rallying a significant number of New Zealand investors – most of them from the Manawatu.

Massey University with the Manawatu Investment Group own a substantial proportion of Anzode and it is wonderful to see investors in the Manawatu now participating in what we intend will be many more offerings as the University develops its intellectual property for investment by thirdparty investors. Massey University would also like to congratulate our scientists who have invented this technology which has made this new battery possible.”

Two other New Zealand investment groups have contributed in this funding round: New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF), and Auckland investment company K One W One.

MIG’s first investment was made in June this year, into Palmerston North-based beverage company Xenos, which is a BCC graduate.

BCC CEO Dean Tilyard says “Anzode is another example of the Manawatu region showing it has the science, people and now financial backing through the Manawatu Investment Group to take locally created innovations to the world market.”

Mr Tilyard added that “The Bio Commerce Centre and The Manawatu Investment Group are always interested in hearing from local companies with growth ambitions.”


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